Thursday, March 19, 2009

Adult Learner Continuation

Here is a continuation of my academic history.

After returning from Egypt, I was deployed to Bosnia in September of 1999 in support of NATO. While I was there, I received 10 cr hrs from the University of Maryland and Montgomery College. Although running patrols and taking classes was challenging, I was able to multitask and make ends meet. Anywhere I was able to receive college, I was willing to step up to the challenge.
After returning from Bosnia, I was transferred to the1-501st parachute infantry regiment (PIR), Ft. Richardson, Alaska. I had always wanted to be in an airborne unit and loved the cold weather of Ft. Drum, Ny. The 1-501st PIR is the only arctic airborne unit in the U.S. military arsenal. After several months of being on jump status, I was injured in an airborne operation where I sustained fractures and torn ligaments in both ankles. Since I was out of commission for a while, I found that the University of Alaska-Anchorage and Central Texas College offered classes on post. From there I spent the next 2 years trying to get as much college as possible until I was medically discharged from the Army. At the end of my career, I had worked hard enough to accumulate over 60 cr hrs of college.
Once I got out, I moved my family back to Red Lion, PA and started working at the prison. Since child care was costly, I had to wait five years until all of my children were of school age in order to return to school. I had heard of the vocational rehabilitation program that was offered through the Department of Veterans Affairs. I qualified for the program and have been at Penn State-York ever since.
Starting back in college was something that I wanted to do, however at age 29, it frightened me. Here I was making very good money without a degree. However, I knew that I needed a degree to pursue a profession that I am passionate about, which is counseling. The first two weeks of the Spring 2008 semester were the hardest of my college career. I had signed up for 12 cr hrs of class my first semester back in college in five years. I figure that if I could place the maximum amount of work on me and take it seriously, it would be a good indicator of how my academic career would carry out. I knew that I had to work harder than most of the students at the school. I knew that I would be successful because I had something that set me apart from many of the students. I had a "can do" attitude and was not afraid to burn the candle at both ends. I knew what sacrifice and deprivation were and was not afraid to endure either. The mindset that had kept me driving is that failure is not an option. I refuse to not give my best effort. If I am limping through college, I am wasting my time and that of the university. After the Spring 2008 semester, I had worked hard enough to be on the Dean's List. This was quite an accomplishment for me as I had never made any academic honor roll in my life. To be continued.....

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