Fourteen years ago, an ignorant guidance counselor from Mount Anthony Union High School took an action that prevented me from going to Salem State University. I have chosen not to name the asshole in question but I have no problem in naming my alma mater, because I feel that accountability for failing a student is a life long condition of a school until the day students are no longer gracing the hallways.
Yesterday, I audited an American Literature class in Salem University. It’s not the same thing as attending, but it’s close enough that I relished the moment. Then I thought about it. That was where I went wrong.
The professor is a friend of John, the man with whom I am living. She had invited John and I to audit her class a few months ago. He had taken it at one point and thought it would be a good opportunity for me and I readily agreed.
It seems like a good group of students. Some of them are transfers from other schools, others are trying to change career paths by going for a new degree. For my part, I really did pay attention as if I were a student and I realized why going the standard college route is no more for me now than it was fourteen years ago.
The professor launched into the opening lecture. Pilgrims came to America seeking religious freedom, etc. Because this is Salem and she is using history as a parallel to the development of American Literature, of course the brief lesson included Salem and the Puritans. The thing is, a lot of what she was telling us was something I had heard often in high school. And in the intervening years between my one year at Lyndon State and today, I have heard varying opinions and interpretations of historical events that almost led me to speaking out of turn and debating what she was telling me. This would have been utterly disrespectful on my part if I were a student. How much worse would it have been if I had spoken up as a person she invited to be there for free?
Whatever I might gain out of continuing to audit this class, I know for certain that trying to follow the prescribed path that a college education would entail is not right for me and never will be. For now I am going to stick to the self guided education that taking the non credited courses at North Shore Community College can provide, as well as the workshops and events that are held throughout the year in Salem and anywhere else within my range.
I am starting another GoFundMe Campaign to raise money for the tuition on three non-credit courses with North Shore Community College. If you would be so kind as to either donate, or share the link with others who will be willing to donate, your effort will be fantastic.