The Plant

There is a plant in my apartment, which I have had for years. I can not remember when I got it, but it has followed me from place to place, apartment to apartment. It lives in a tiny plastic brown pot, which sits within another slightly larger porcelain white planter, making it look like it has more space than it does.

Every day I look at this plant with both admiration and guilt – proud of how it has survived over the years in less than ideal conditions, yet embarrassed with my lazy refusal to recognize that it has outgrown its current home.  “It’s still green” I tell myself, to ease the guilt. “I water it when I remember, and it sits near the window so it gets light”. But when I look closer I have to admit I’m bluffing, because I can see the weakening of the stalk, the slight withering and curling of the ends of the leaves where they are slowly turning brown. It’s roots are struggling and have grown far too large for the tiny space I have confined it to for years.

I have had this plant for long enough to know that it’s not doing as well as I’d like to believe. This plant is not healthy. It needs sunlight, needs to be outside. Yes, it is time for a transfer somewhere new, because living things need room to grow.

Thoughts on Schoolwork, Advocacy and the Strain on Students

Life is full of responsibilities, choices, and priorities. It will always be a balancing act. The older I get, the more I realize the importance of being able to prioritize the areas that require focus, recognizing that there is a time and a place for each, and being able to forgive myself for not being able to “do it all” at once. We have to choose where to put our focus and then own that choice, even when it means that other areas might suffer.

A side project or passion, and the time we dedicate to it, is a choice.  It can be a hard choice to make when faced with obligations like a job that pays the bills, or taking care of family.  But when it comes to educational obligations, we must remember that college or university is also a choice. Can we really attend university – knowing that it comes with very specific expectations of what it takes in order to succeed – and then complain that the other things we are passionate about should justify not being able to complete those tasks?  A degree is not something we pay for and are entitled to receive. We all enroll in higher education knowing that to be successful, to get a degree and graduate, takes a certain level of competence. Missing classes, not studying, and not completing assignments because we are focusing on other passions is a decision that we are entitled to make – but not one that a school is required to accommodate.

Yes, school is a time to pursue meaningful learning both in and out of the classroom. However, it is also the biggest lesson one gets in time management, and learning how to prioritize. So you’re feeling stressed?  Welcome to the real world, kid.

Recline | Outline

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He was shy. An awkward freshman. He took off his glasses self consciously and sat for the class and within a matter of moments, without pen leaving page, he became my favorite drawing.

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