I Learned The Value Of My Education Essays

I Learned The Value Of My Education Essays

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Only as an adult have I been able to appreciate the unique freedom of my childhood in rural Pennsylvania. My parents were members of the working class trying to improve our situation by living within their means and sacrificing their expendable income to augment my education. In many ways, I did not grow up like other children in my wealthy town, my clothes were second hand, I had to work as soon as it was legal, and school lunches sometimes fell beyond my means. I certainly did not experience the poverty of my family relations who are immigrants in New York City or industrial workers in Redding, PA. I learned the value of my education from the long hours I put in at the university industrial plant while working as a research assistant in the Department of Political Science. My parent’s strict policies and insistence on my participation in the arts and athletics helped me to become a successful and creative student, capable in the face of adversity because of my working class background and queer identity. My experiences working and volunteering with diverse communities have helped me to appreciate the importance of diversity, both for having value in itself and as the progenitor of social justice and critical social theory. Because of my personal experiences as bisexual women, who struggled to fit into queer and heterosexual cultures, I value affirming spaces that encourage diverging identities and expressions. Creating and cultivating spaces where diverse perspectives flourish is central to my mission as an instructor, researcher, and advocate.
I was able to receive a high school diploma and continue into higher education as a result of the hard work of my parents and the assistance of tutors and teachers. Recognizing my success...

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...lized groups, has affected my perceptions of trauma and helped me to recognize the necessity for compassion and the creation of safe spaces. My professional experiences and personal background in activism and allied social justice organizations have contributed to my world outlook and the way I conduct my classroom and professional interactions.
My experiences growing up in rural Appalachia and working with diverse populations has contributed substantially to my worldview and improved the quality of my research and teaching. While working with vulnerable populations and disaffected rural communities I have found that my identity as a working-class queer woman allows for mutual understandings based on our shared experiences outside of normative spaces or types of privilege. I look forward to continuing to work with and learn from diverse groups as a graduate student.

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