While it is somewhat weird to thank an institution that makes you pay them thousands of dollars for them to teach you what you want to learn, without them who knows where I’d be. Each of the 3 colleges that I’ve attended has taught me a lot of different things at very specific points in my life. They were also all willing to take a chance on me. In the end I hope that I’m able to return the favor and give something than just money.
Northwestern College – you were the best 5 years of my life. Sure most people graduate in 4 years. Yet because of your liberal arts concept forcing me to really consider who I wanted to be I changed majors and got a double major which made decide 5 is better than 4. While attending I learned the importance of incorporating education into my whole life and not just my school life. I further developed the valuable art of critical thinking and critical writing, for which my friends who didn’t attend there are less fond of now that they lose every argument. I also become much clearer on my own personal beliefs about religion, about how we should treat the world, and my own place within that world. While I can’t say I’ve truly found who I am, I can say that you’ve helped me to find who I want to be. For that I thank you.
Illinois State University – You helped me learn the 2 greatest words ever, IT DEPENDS. While there were some struggles with various clerical things (who doesn’t tell students when signing a lease that you’re going to tear down that apartment complex 5 months later?), at the same time you really helped me to grow in unexpected ways. The diversity and culture you bring to your campus, as well as just all of the learning opportunities about various cultures showed me how much I don’t know. Further the graduate program I was a part of helped me to learn to take my own initiative and start answering questions I was asking. I can’t remember how many times I was allowed to stay after class and ask a question that usually had nothing to do with the heart of what was being discussed but related to a very specific part, yet no teacher ever really got mad. I was also given the opportunity to really head down this path to what I’ve desired to be my future. While it was just the first step, it was a very promising step and you were willing to take a chance on me. For that I thank you.
Minnesota State University – Mankato – You opened your doors to me. Where other colleges were hesitant to allow someone who already had their master’s degree to come into the program, you embraced me. While there may have been some early growing pains on both sides, I feel as though this isn’t my first year. The way the program is run has taught me a lot of lessons for when I start my own practice. The attitude and communication of the people within the department makes it feel like a family and not just a bunch of disconnected students. At the end of the day though, I have to say a special thank you to Cindra Kamphoff for teaching me the importance of finding myself in a field where it is easy to get lost in the crowd. Where other schools stress the importance of just the science part of our field, you’ve encouraged us to find the art and to find the passion as well. For that I thank you.