“Some are single, some are married, some have kids, some do not, some are twenty-four, some are sixty-four…We are not straight out of high school living four more years of playfulness…some of us are in college to improve our future or the future of our children, many of us are changing an academic legacy by being the first in our families to graduate from college. Others are starting again after military service or making a new path out of a dead-end job or relationship…”
“…I was tired of having spaghetti every night…sick of living in a dump of an apartment. The thought of having children was out of the question. I couldn’t believe this was my life. An education was the only way to change that.”
“…Hearing those phrases “It’s a girl” and “You may now kiss the bride” made me think, “I am now a wife and a mother…never again a student”.”
“The desks sure hadn’t changed, but in the past 20 years, I sure had.”
Non-traditional students face challenges well beyond academia. In the anthology, “Kids, Have You Seen My Backpack,” adult learners share their personal journeys through essays about returning to the classroom later in life. Facing fears, overcoming obstacles, to graduation day, the 22 stories in this book could inspire anyone considering their own education endeavor.
The above quotes were taken from various essays from the book and pretty much explain what the concept of the book is. With the advent of outsourcing, many folks are losing their jobs. That said, adult education has hit a boom in both trade schools and traditional colleges.
This anthology would make for a perfect gift for a loved one who is either back in school, or thinking about returning the classroom in the future. Whether someone is forced into going back to school because they lack skills to find new work or if someone just wants a career or lifestyle change, this new territory could be a scary thing. So, 22 others in the same situation have shared their own stories to help others like them.
Each essay is from a different person from around the country. There are men and women in all sorts of different situations. Some have lost their jobs. Some had parents who said they weren’t fit for college. Some were abused wives. Some adult learners just like to learn and are just taking classes here and there. One person found that as an immigrant from another country, her teaching degree was not accepted here. They are all motivated by different people and things-being the first in their family to graduate, for one. They all have different types of obstacles as well-husbands, jobs, money (or lack thereof) and more. But although each has different aspects of their stories-all succeeded.
That’s what this book is meant to do. Show that adult can do this, no matter how long its been since they’ve been out of the classroom.
Giving the gift of inspiration is perhaps one of the best gifts to give someone!
This book is published by iUniverse and is available at their site for $14.95. Since iUniverse is also affiliated with Barnes and Noble, it is available there as well. It can be ordered from any retailer. It is 156 pages long.
Nancy Sadjak Manning
Roberta Beach Jacobson
Beth Ann Wenner
Gail C. JohnsonCeleste Dunlap