Education is Experiencing a Revolution – My Academic Journey Part II

My Academic Journey Part II

Dear Dumplin,

So where was I?  Oh yes, Baruch College’s Real Estate program in the Zicklin School of Business.

Let me start by saying this.  The energy in Baruch is something like I had never experienced.  There was a wide range of people, personalities, and interests that I loved.  The students were from all walks of life and from many different places around the globe.  It is still one of the most diverse schools in New York City.

I started taking core classes with the plan to apply to the Zicklin School of Business and then I would be on my way to Real Estate glory.  Did that happen?  No.  Not even a little bit.  And why you may ask?  I’ll tell you in one word.

Pre-Calculus.

That’s right.  PRE-CALCULUS.   Now let’s take a step back for a moment.  I have never really struggled with math.  It wasn’t my favorite course but I didn’t hate it.  I thought of it as a necessary evil.  If I studied and did the work, I usually did pretty well.  That is, until Pre-Calculus at Baruch.  I’ve never cried over curriculum before.  I mean REAL TEARS.  After a grueling semester of barely keeping a C average, doing extra credit, and attending tutoring twice a week including Saturdays, the day of the final exam came.  It was on a weekday so I headed to school after work.  And do you know what happened?  Some people fought on the subway AND STOPPED TRAIN SERVICE.  Of all days!!!  I had a timed final exam to get to STAT.  I got to the final exam 30 minutes late and let me tell you, I needed every minute and then some to finish that exam.  I sat in the classroom and knew I was going to fail.  I felt it.  There were multiple choice and short answer questions.  I had to draw graphs and show my work. There simply wasn’t enough time and let’s be honest, I wasn’t that great at Pre-Calculus anyway.

I worried for days waiting for the grades to be posted.  And you know what happened?  I failed the exam.  And you want to know the most hurtful part?  I failed the exam by ONE QUESTION.  That’s right, I needed just one more correct answer to pass the exam.  The rules at the time were if you failed the final, you automatically failed the class. It did not matter what your average was.  You could not move forward if you did not pass the final exam.  So here I was taking pre-calculus a second time, and paying for it A SECOND TIME.  I could not take it.  I still had to complete Calculus, Statistics, and one other math related course before I could apply to the business school, and take just one real estate class. NO MA’AM.  I could not do it.

At that point I started looking for other options.  I already decided to make my minor Black Studies, but what would be my major?  Then a friend suggested Corporate Communications.  She had a class as part of her curriculum and thought I would enjoy it.  I thank her to this day (Hi Jackie!)  I felt at home in these classes.  Quite frankly, I believe the  Communications professors at Baruch College are one of the schools most undervalued assets.  These people have the power to sculpt how young professionals carry themselves in the corporate environment.  Professionalism, tact, and manners are not innate.  They must be taught.  Email etiquette must be taught.  How to properly conduct a Powerpoint presentation must be taught.  How to communicate to higher-ups must be taught.  The things I learned while working towards my degree in Corporate Communications I carry with me to this day.  I still remember the names of professors who left a large impact on me.  (Hello to Professor Medved, Professor Brewster, Professor Johnson, and Professor Reynolds.) I loved my journey to obtain a degree in Corporate Communications.  BUT….

Times are changing.  The quicker you get into the workforce and gain real world experience, I believe the better.  Sometimes, you really just need a few classes to teach you hard skills to get started.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m an advocate for college education.  Relationships are forged during college that cannot be duplicated anywhere else.  Yes, college is about gaining skills to succeed at work and in life, but it’s also a right of passage for adulthood that I wish everyone could experience and afford.  But that’s not the world we live in.  Let’s also remember that there are many employers who simply will not higher you if you do not have a college degree.  But like I started this series by saying, education is experiencing a revolution.  As a mom, it is my job to prepare you for life as best I can.  So…

Seven sites I believe are ahead of the game educationally coming up in my next post.

Love,

Mama

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