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Archive for March, 2015

An Educated Mind… For All!

Posted by Amanda Jane on March 8, 2015

I’ve always believed myself to be compassionate, altruistic, well-mannered, friendly, vivacious and eternally optimistic (sound familiar, Twitterverse? 😀 ) I’ve admired those qualities in myself and tried to live up to the standards I have set for myself.  There is an attribute that I prize highly above all the rest–my mind and its innate intelligence.  OK, so perhaps I’ve not applied to join MENSA (yet), but I have always done extremely well in school and really thrive in a classroom environment. This might be why I decided to become a teacher, perhaps hoping someday to become a professor of literature.

A few years ago, at the age of 23, I was diagnosed with a disabling illness that affects my lungs, and due to the long years of treatments,  is now beginning to debilitate my body at a rapid pace.  At the time when I first fell ill, I was still in University, working toward becoming a teacher.   Due to my frequent hospitalizations, I wasn’t able to continue; there ended my formal education.

I have since attempted to return to school several times– tried everything from online schools, to correspondence schools, to part-time technical/trade schools that felt as challenging as kindergarten.  My illness has been my adversary every time, succeeding in ousting me from even the most menial career education.

It’s somewhat embarrassing to share this with the world.  By looking at me, you would never guess that I battle an illness.  I’m not looking to garner sympathy or pity, but rather always prefer to do my best to earn respect, so my personal issues are not something I’ve readily shared with people in the past.  Having done alright in the business and professional arena, with many responsible positions, people assume that I have more titles than I really do.  Whatever education I have attained beyond my years of college have been the result of my own personal study and innate ability.

I am not satisfied.  I have decided that this incomplete education ends now.  I have looked for years for a program that would allow me to learn even if I had to be in hospital at times.  Guess what? No luck yet.  So, I have decided to take the reins of my own life, educating myself because no one seems to want to do it!   Maybe I won’t receive a yearned-for degree or certificate, but I will get what I prize above all else–a more learned and cultured mind.

I hope this endeavor helps me to keep striving for excellence within myself, to continue gaining wisdom to live what’s left of my life to its full extent, and to help me leave a lasting legacy for those who find themselves in a similar position.  I am determined to never stop learning and to make a purposeful life from the wreckage, finding a way around the obstacles that stand between me and further formal education, and sharing with the world what I learn along the way.

As long as my mind is alert and capable, I have the right to learn.  That is my ultimate wish for myself and for others like me–to learn until the end. Who knows? Maybe even longer than that.

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