Confession: I am writing this post in order to create a wordle.
Nontraditional Student Week is a stone's throw away, and we plan to celebrate it with enthusiasm in my office. And we need a t-shirt design.
Let me tell you a little about our students. They are adult learners with life experiences that run the gamut from business owners and entrepeneurs to single parents and survivors of abuse. They are tall, short, wide, narrow, red-headed, bald, and everything in between. They are men and women dedicated to improving their lives through education. They have dreams, and they work hard toward achieving them. Some will be teachers, some are pre-law, others want to care for animals and still others plan to write. They are studying English, computer technology, chemistry, animal science, sociology and more. They laugh, they share stories, and they encourage one another. They tutor each other and swap stories about teachers. They fall asleep on the couch and lose track of time at the computer. The room fills with the fragrance of lunches heated in the microwave, and the smell of popcorn to fend off afternoon munchies. They arrange their schedules to take kids to soccer practice and parents to doctor appointments. They worry about their finances and their families, but day in and day out, they are here. Studying, contributing, planning and dreaming. They are discovering that they were right to return to school, to push aside the awkwardness of raising their hands in classes filled with nineteen-year olds, and to share the lessons they've learned in life with professors and fellow students. They get tired. They get stressed. Their cars and their lawnmowers need repair, and still they manage. They persevere.
In my book they are rock stars, and it is my privilege to know them and work to make their lives on this campus a little easier. They have chosen MTSU, and the world is, and will be, better for their time here.