I was a pretty good student in school and managed to receive acceptances from multiple colleges. Finally, my family and I determined it would be best for me to attend the University of South Carolina (USC). Guess what? EPIC FAIL. Literally. It was a heart-wrenching reality of failure and nothing in me wanted to move forward. I was not ready for the responsibility of time, purpose and people.
The shame and humiliation of returning home and facing family and friends was a bad dream that seemed endless. I enrolled in the local technical college and completed some classes during my suspension. After my semester suspension was over, my family and I decided it was not best to return to USC. It was hard to face my reality of not returning.
I enrolled in the local liberal arts college and guess what? EPIC FAIL. Literally, but this time “again” was attached. I changed my major a few times and just could not get my direction. I finally enrolled in a sociology course and bingo! We were in love! I declared my major in sociology. I graduated and went on to graduate school. Eventually, I went back to school (with a husband and 2 kids later) and obtained my master’s degree. What next? I decided to take the PhD plunge.
My shame and humiliation were the vehicles used to establish humility within me. I had to learn the art of responsibility. I’ve been so ashamed of my failing process for many years. I’ve traveled and taught abroad, published, lectured, presented, researched, and have multiple academic teaching awards.
It’s okay that our paths are different, as long as we arrive at our destiny destination. I’ve processed all the pain; I’m free to share my soul’s journey. Failure is the first sighting of a future. signed, Dr. CASM
Our son loved kindergarten (K-5). He loved to play with others, loved to laugh, loved to eat snacks and take naps! He did very well in K-5, but he struggled with the transition to first grade. The first weeks of school were great, but then slowly, his momentum quickly leveled to a slow pace. Finally, I asked him what was wrong and he said: “Mom, I wanna go back to K5. I want my nap! In K-5, we get extra snacks and if you good, you get extra playtime.”
As parents, our hearts leaped for joy and a sigh of relief because that was it? We figured this would pass over time. In his view, life was good in K-5: friends, playtime, snack time and nap time. After a few months, we realized he was really serious and struggled to move forward with new expectations. He was in the same school, but a different way of learning. His study time increased and he had less time for snacks and no naps!
He cried every week for the months of August through November (I will NEVER forget). He complained regularly that the teacher forgot about the nap. He wanted to believe that K-5 was the best time in life. He wanted the teacher to conform to his needs, his level of understanding and what was relatable.
Years later (I think about this now), he’s a young adult, but the idea still remains so relevant to many adults that hail “good times” but were they great times? My son did not need a nap at the time, he needed knowledge, he needed to be challenged and become flexible in new structures and expectations. He cried, and he complained, but it did not change the journey direction. Going back is not going beyond. You can’t journey forward, while stepping back.