Looking across the chasm of
confusion to a new version
of my college memoir.
Inferiority would hide inside my book bag and sneer at me as I racked my brain trying to come up with some concrete connection to the literature text at hand, or find some philosophical theory that could explain the actions of historical public figures at the moment of crisis or even explain the historical context of a poem. Where did my younger counterparts come up with all these ideas? Why were they so much braver than I?
At home when I tried to write my critical papers, I had to shove Inferiority into a cupboard. You could hear her scratching at the door and rattling the doorknob. I’d post a note on the cupboard door: “Beware, Mom’s Inferiority is trapped inside!” I didn’t want the kids opening the door to find out what all the noise was and then have Inferiority escape only to fly to my fingers at the keyboard and keep me from writing.
No, I needed to get past this feeling of inferiority. I needed to learn to speak up for myself during class if I had a question, ask why something was wrong if I didn’t understand, and challenge a grade to see how to improve for the next time. This is something I had been teaching my children their whole lives. Now it was time I did the same.
Believe in myself. I needed to believe in myself. But that blasted inferiority. I felt that everyone knew much more than I, had read all the appropriate texts prior to enrolling in the class, or at least had the foundational courses necessary to excel in the present class. I was twice their age and never heard of half the technology used at college, never mind the pertinent movies or literature.
To gain that belief in myself, I needed a solid college foundation. But I wanted to attend college classes. Now. Playing catch-up becomes a reality. Everyone knows foundations take time. And time is another issue for the older student or parent attending college.
As I begin a new revision of my memoir, please pose any questions you may have about my college journey as a mother of five or share some insight from your college journey. It would be greatly appreciated.