Education is Experiencing a Revolution – My Academic Journey Part I

My Academic Journey Part I

Dear Dumplin,

“The revolution will not be televised.”

Gil Scott-Heron was right, the revolution will not be on our television screens.  However, it WILL be on our computers and smart phones.  Technology has always made the world take huge leaps in short periods of times.  When that happens, there is usually at least one industry decimated by the quick change or at a minimum, an industry that’s not learning and growing as fast as the world around them.  I believe education is one of those fields.

People no longer find it acceptable to spend their life’s savings on an education, graduate with mountains of debt, then be told there is no job for them.  We have unemployed lawyers.  We have people with graduate degrees who simply cannot find work that matches their skill set.  It’s a troubling and stressful scenario.

My educational journey was far from easy and straight forward.  I went to Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY for one semester.  Although it was a nice experience, I remember struggling with finding a major I loved.  During high school, I was in a pre-med program.  I knew then I didn’t want to be a doctor but I did not want to disappoint your Grandmother.  As a result, I went with the flow.  When the first day of biology came at Marist, I knew it wasn’t for me.  My eyes glazed over as the teacher described the makeup of a cell.  My head rattled when we had to dissect a frog. I did not want to go along this path anymore.  I left school after one semester because your Great-Grandfather passed away.  It was a stressful time for the family and I needed to be closer to home.

Next was Hunter College in NYC.  Still unclear on a major, I continued my academic adventure.  The classes were huge auditoriums.  At the time, the teachers did not seem to want or care to get to know you.  Growing up in schools with small class sizes and individual attention, this was a shock to me.  I did not like it.  Also, I was not intrigued by any major.  I lasted there three semesters (I think?)

Somehow I made my way to Marymount Manhattan College just a few blocks from Hunter.  I thought the smaller class sizes were better suited for me although I still did not know what I wanted to major in.  I took fundamental classes while I tried to figure it out.  I read, and reread, and reread the class curricula with lists of majors and minors.  Sometimes I would get curious, but then I would ask myself, “Do you really want to spend the rest of your life doing this?”  The answer was always no.  As time progressed, I realized I had little in common with my classmates.  I was already in my mid-twenties and surrounded by young and somewhat well off people who had never worked a day in their lives.  When was I going to figure it out?

Then I discovered Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki.  I devoured that book like Double Chocolate Milano cookies from Pepperidge Farm.  It was like someone had turned on a switch.  REAL ESTATE!! Passive Income!!!  That’s so interesting and so multi-faceted!  After reading that book three times through,  I decided to look for ways to educate myself in real estate.  At that time my go-to place was The Learning Annex because I love to learn.  I had taken many classes with them for fun so it made sense to look there first.  I found a class on becoming a licensed realtor and signed up right away.  (I never took the licensing exam because I just wanted the information.)  Then I found a seminar on real estate investing.  Once the seminar finished, I still did not feel confident enough to take the first leap economically.  Then  I saw a pamphlet for The Baruch College of New York and saw a major in Real Estate from their Zicklin School of Business.  No other school in New York offered a college degree in real estate at the time.  I’m in!  Or so I thought..

Next?  What happened when I got to Baruch…



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