Wednesday, January 25, 2012

How will a $3,000 scholarship for education make a difference in my life?

If you read my blog you know I have been trying to finish my Special Education degree for a number of years now.  Work, kids, life and autism have always managed to get in my way. That and MONEY!! That's what it really all boils down to- the all mighty dollar!!!  And like most people- I never have any extra- and if by some crazy miracle I do- it most likely goes on my kids' backs, and wouldn't be enough to even buy a textbook. (Did you know you can RENT those now??)

3 years ago, I got a scholarship. It would allow me to take at least two classes a semester for a year. I unfortunately- in my giddy excitement ( I ADORE being a student) I didn't read that it was for Winter, Fall, Winter, Fall. No Spring/Summer. So- I took a spring/summer class, only to be very upset when I realized my mistake. I contacted the college and asked if there was ANY way I could substitute that Spring/Summer semester for the last Winter one. No. I couldn't. I still don't understand why- probably a punishment for being an idiot.

So- now I am into the college for almost 2K and it is the LAST bill I think to pay- what with keeping my lights on, food in the house and my mortgage paid- that seems like small potatoes. But I am desperately unhappy in my current job. I LOVE what I do- but I want my own class! I want to be helping kids just like The Boy- I want to be making a difference doing what I LOVE. So now the scholarship hunt begins.
(Don't even ask about FAFSA- been down that road- DENIED)

With a gazillion sites out there Broke Scholar,,Education Connection,  and of course offerings from my university of choice (Wayne State- go Warriors!), each promising thousands of dollars to get an education, it's not HARD to apply. It just takes hours, days, weeks of sifting through, writing essays, (hence the title of this blog) and meeting deadlines.

I have applied for and wrote several  "short answer" essays- and when I read them I think- why WOULDN'T someone give me this scholarship? And then I remember- ohhhhh....because I am competing with all of the millions of 18-20 year old's just beginning their college careers, the millions of people retraining for a new career after losing their jobs in our shitty economy. But then- I try to look at the bright side- I want to be a SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHER!! With an Autistic Spectrum Disorder endorsement. I know that so many schools need GOOD special ed teachers, I know I could find a job- especially with the endorsement.  So dammit- give me some MONEY!!

Then my neighbor asks me- do you ever wonder if it is worth it to finish your degree at this age- when someone 15 -20 years younger than me might be considered first. And I said NO- of course not! Because along with an education from a school of higher learning, I have many years of PRACTICAL experience that put me way ahead of some fresh faced young thing- that has no idea that walking into a special needs environment  means kids that don't speak, kids who can't control their bodies, kids who have violent outbursts, kids who need to have diapers changed, kids on the spectrum, kids with ADHD, kids that hit, kick, spit and cry.  Parents who look to you for guidance, support and help. Cuts in funding for already struggling programs, Grant writing (aka begging for money) and making do with what you have. A physical, and mentally challenging career that takes a special person to do, and do well.

You may ask- WHY IN THE FUCK WOULD YOU WANT TO DO THIS? Simple- because I love kids- all shapes, sizes and colors. And since beginning this journey with Autism- I have had an opportunity to meet so many different kids, with different issues, and they need someone like ME! I am vocal, I am tireless when it comes to advocating. I believe EVERY child can learn. What they NEED to learn and WHEN they need it.

This is why I need a paltry $3000. This is how a scholarship would make a difference in my life- so I could FINALLY  start to finish my education and  make a difference in  so many other's lives. So what if I am  starting at 40 years old? I have A LOT to give, A LOT of years to go.

So c'mon- show me the $$$$.  Pretty please??