I was home-schooled for most of my life. There are many critiques to be made about any form of schooling, but I would have to say that the most important thing that home-schooling accomplished was keeping me out of the public school system. That is, until I came to college.
I have crawled through almost two years at Western Washington University, and before that was two years at Edmonds Community College through the running start program. I started out just fine, with a fresh fire and energy that I am sure was fueled by not having been stuck in school for the previous 12+ years of my life. I went to class, did my assignments on time, got good grades, and promptly forgot 90% of what I had learned. But my fire quickly ran out. For the past three years I have navigated a world of boring lecture classes, and (thank goodness) some dance classes. I have dragged myself to class day after day, living off of the rare enthusiasm that came from a very interesting lecture or assignment, and yearning for my next dance class, when I could finally stop sitting and just move.
My father had brought up Fairhaven college when I first applied to Western, and in the months that followed my acceptance. However, every time he mentioned it, I had shot him down with a “No, I don’t think it sounds like me.” Phew, was I wrong. It wasn’t until I realized that I could not, in fact, have four different majors, that I decided to give Fairhaven a chance. I got it into my head, as I always do with new possibilities, that it was the only thing that could possibly work out for me, and I had to get in. Thankfully, I got accepted.
I am now in my second quarter there, and I no longer feel as if I am dragging my feet through the college world. Classes are seminar style, meaning that instead of a room full of students listening to the teacher talk for two hours, we sit in a circle and the teacher and students all discuss the topic. I have learned, and retained, more from hearing the different voices of my peers than I ever did from a single professor in a lecture class.
Fairhaven has changed my life. I am currently in a class about alternative education. I have always had critical views of the public education system, but I very rarely meet people who share those views. This class is filled with them. Since beginning this class two weeks ago, I have decided to start this blog, and have gotten in contact with people about opportunities to take action to change the public education system. Thank you, Fairhaven, for causing me to take action. Thank you, for teaching me how to do things, instead of just talking about doing them. Thank you, for changing my life.
Although I know that Fairhaven college would not work for everyone, it is so valuable for me to have found an education style that fits my needs. I truly hope that my fellow students can find an education style that works for them, and I intend to give future generations more resources and a better opportunity for alternative education. We are in a changing world, and education needs to change with it.
To read my first experience of Fairhaven college, go to: http://breebs.tumblr.com/ and read “And so I’m a Fairhaven student.”