No Brick and Mortar school for Debbie

Submitted into Contest #54 in response to: Write a story about someone going back to school as a mature student.... view prompt



In 1975, the year Debbie graduated from high school. Worked at a small nursing home till 1977. Wanting always to be a nurse, so in 1977 enrolled in a Licensed Practical Nurse program LPN for short. A two-year program and earned a diploma in 1979. Debbie worked as a nurse in Long Term care, otherwise known as nursing homes. Always loved working with the elderly, especially those who had Alzheimer's. Working as a nurse for over twenty years, finding great satisfaction in the job. On that day Tuesday, September 11, 2001, is a beautiful cloudless day blue sky while watching TV the phone rang so muting the sound her friend called he would be there in ten minutes both were going to a Bible study group. She saw on the TV the first plane hit the towers at first she thought a plane went off course she told her friend what she was happening. Either couldn't predict what would transpire over the coming weeks. Arriving at the meeting someone brought in a TV well, the rest of the story developed. An event that changed history along with Debbie. Just completing a faith-based class during the last two years began to experience a call to the ministry. Spoke with the admission director of the seminary what course work needed to apply first a college degree would be required. The last time she stepped foot in a brick and mortar school had been back in 1979. At forty-five working full time along with an internship at her church. Debbie knew she did not want to sit through long-winded lectures going to class by mass transit in the snow. Fate then intervene Debbie an assistant teacher with her pastor teaching a confirmation class Both discuss the possibility of visiting ground zero with the class. Debbie always enjoyed going to New York for the holidays to people watch New York only took an hour by bus. Debbie hasn't been to ground zero alone discussing this with the pastor snot know how she reacts to the scene. Pastor, Debbie, and a seminary student doing a summer internship. Debbie only viewed the place where the World Trade Towers once stood on TV or online. Viewing the crater remaining left her questioning the future.

The group visited the church across from ground zero, as the media referred to the site. Banners from all over the world were hanging from the choir loft going around the walls of the church. A display from Japan of Thousands of strings of multi-colored origami peace cranes was sent from school children and other groups throughout Japan, including survivors of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The pews with the marks made from the first responders' belts, the equipment wore at the site. The church across from ground zero suffered no damage so much as a window broke. Where the first responders were able to get some rest and food. Walking around the church. Someone made a makeshift honor wall full of photos of those still missing. Looking over each one thinking of lost dreams loss of the accomplishments these people would have given to the world. The next decision would make changes to her life. The next day she went to the director where she worked asked if there was a part-time opening it just so happened another nurse needed to come to the day shift from the night shift. Debbie now had to find a school other than a brick and mortar. Researching schools she found a college offered course designed for mature students that had actual life experience. In 2001 online was becoming popular, the college is accredited by the state where she lived. Debbie had taken a few other courses online, sending in the transcripts to the college accepts enough credits to cover a year's work. They weren't offering scholarships as is the norm now, so she did it on her own dime. Remember Debbie had been out of school since 1979, it was now 2001 she was in for culture shock and how educational norms had changed. They allowed Debbie to use a room at church to study first she would do the work they required her to complete for her internship then she would work on her course. Those first few classes were online, but homework class projects had to still use snail mail and testing she had to travel by train for exams. Debbie submitted her first assignment had been covered with red ink. Debbie put her head on the desk a having her own pity party. Believing she worked hard on this paper. Finishing the pity party went online finding an outline to writing college papers using that outline for all the rest of the class papers there was a lot less red ink. The grades improved like in a brick and mortar school, sometimes grades influence by interaction in class. Debbie felt since the teacher's only thing she had to base a grade was the work and interaction in chat rooms set up by the school's website a good grade was a real accomplishment. Video conferences not yet available. Over the course of time technology improved the college now had a platform to submit course work securely to take exams and prevent cheating since each test had a count down clock so when the time was up the program locked so only the teacher would be allowed access the test. It took Debbie a little over five years to complete her degree with a BA in 2006. Sometimes, people, feel they have a call to the ministry as Debbie believed but it was not meant to be it is often said when a window closes a door opens. Debbie was the first in her family to earn a college degree. She was able to return to nursing as an LPN for a few more years but due to her health, she could no longer work as a nurse. Debbie did miss being a nurse but a window was about to open. Debbie was talking to some members of her church she was looking for a part-time position but her skills mainly consisted of medical skills. A member overheard the conversation she asked if Debbie would consider working at a school. This never entered Debbie's mind giving it some thought completed an application completed the background search fingerprinting. One of the requirements was to have taken a para personal course taken the test or had at least 60 college credits she had a BA. She was hired and has been working at the school for eleven years now seeing many students grow to learn and graduate. Debbie believed having door two picked for her was where she was meant to be. 

August 10, 2020 20:31

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