Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Day 194

For my University Enrollment Management class, I am currently writing a reflection on my college choice process and how it aligns with current research about college choice. This is exactly the kind of thing I can really geek out about because I was completely obsessed with the college admissions process. Just for an example, I desperately wanted to break 700 points on the math section of the SAT. At a BAKErs sleepover with some of my best friends, while Ashley and Emma played video games and did fun sleepover stuff, my friend Brittany and I did SAT practice questions to help both of us prepare for our upcoming test...but mostly me. (I did eventually achieve my 700 point dream with flying colors.)

Brittany might kill me for this, but here are the BAKErs at Waffle House before our last SAT ever!
As I was pulling quotes from a journal article called "This Test Is Unfair," which examines African American and Latino students' perceptions of bias on standardized tests, this was just one memory of my college choice process that returned to my mind. Whereas I was spending my free time in books I had the resources to purchase, however, I am confronted with the unfortunate reality that my advantage in the college admissions process came from much more than careful test preparation or even the finances to purchase a practice book. There are students who don't know how or when to register for a college admission test, or that they even need to take such a test. I become more and more surprised by my own privilege every week, but I'm doing my best to channel that into bringing more access to underrepresented students and using my powers for good. I hope I'm on the right track.

I'm going to keep this short because I would like to wrap up my paper and get to bed, but as I was writing, I was also drawn back to The Whisper of the River by Ferrol Sams, which is optional-but-encouraged reading for first-year students at Mercer, my alma mater. One of my favorite quotes will forever be from this book, and I felt compelled to pull out my highlighted, falling copy of the book and throw it into my paper. Porter Osborne's father tells him,

"Some people think it's mandatory to get their sons educated and their daughters can take what's left, but I'm the opposite. A boy can work his way through school if he really wants to. I don't care if a one of my girls never draws a paycheck; I'm going to see that they all finish college. If a woman is educated, she's a better wife, a better mother, and she's going to raise better children. Every woman who gets educated improves America and is an investment in the future."

I'm not in love with the second sentence, but for a book set in the late 1930s, I'll keep mostly quiet. I think of my mom whenever I remember the quote. I was a pretty needy child and made balancing work and motherhood difficult for her at times, but even through all of the years when she stayed home with me, her education was never a waste, because she was a better wife, a better mother, and she raised better children. I'm proud of her and thankful for the path she helped pave so I could be where I am now. She makes me want to be better so I don't waste her efforts.

Something that made today great: I'm actually having a lot of fun writing this paper.
Time I woke up: 9:41 am (and it was great!)

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