Every Thursday night she came to her evening college classes. We would talk a little bit, usually after class or during the breaks. She drives from Farmington to the Portsmouth NH university campus, which is about 30 miles one way. Now it's the end of the term. Tonight she told me how she does it. She started by saying she had baked stuffed haddock for dinner. I looked at her and said,
"You made baked stuffed haddock before you came to class tonight?!"
" No, I went out with my friend."
"Yeah, this is my time. I arranged with the place where I volunteer to leave early on Thursday afternoon. While my brother comes by to watch the kids, I can do some studying. Then my friend and I go out to dinner."
I could not help myself. I smiled as she told her story. She then gave a little, unapologetic shrug, smiled back and continued, "This is my time."
There it was the Granite State College marketing tagline: It's your turn! The motto that says after you work to impress the world come to GSC to do something just for yourself. Adult learners are goal oriented and come to higher education for a variety of reasons. Yet here is a woman, a mother of three, who has chosen to honor herself with an education. She carved out time, (which as we all know is a precious commodity,) to create a space for herself. She has included her family and friends in that plan too. This says to me that her designs are more than mere career advancement. It's just like the sign says. I couldn't make this stuff up-- it really happens.