Posted by: Cindy Downes | October 16, 2007

The Students . . .

I’ve spent a lot of time either complaining about or praising teachers at college, but I haven’t talked much about the kids. So this blog is about the kids – the other students.

I’ve met some of the most enjoyable, intelligent kids I’ve ever known at TCC and OSU-Tulsa. They are just SO special! I haven’t met one yet that I don’t like. Let me tell you about them, a few at a time.

First, there’s Phoenix. She’s Native American and EXTREMELY intelligent. Like so many of the young women there, she’s not only going to college, but also raising a child by herself. I can tell she’s a good mom, though, because her eyes sparkle when she talks about her daughter. Although, she’s experienced some traumatic events in her life, she’s turned out to be a beautiful woman.

Next, there’s “Easter Bunny” – Cory Easter is his real name, but I call him Easter Bunny. I’ve adopted him as another “son!” He sits next to me in class and I bug him about listening to the professor and doing his homework. When our professor is especially uninteresting, we talk about sports or what Cory did during the weekend. He so reminds me of my own kids.

Then, there’s Crystal. Crystal’s story makes my heart break. Her husband went off to Iraq and apparently came home so emotionally damaged that they are now going through a divorce. I can understand why she is so against the war. She, too, is raising children alone, working, and going back to school. Crystal has an interesting accent which I love to hear. She’s always upbeat and energetic even when things are going right.

I can’t forget Amanda and Tori. I don’t know much about their personal lives but they are fun to be around. I love to hear them laugh and talk about their weekends. Like so many of the kids in my classes, they’re both waitresses and work long hours for sometimes not so great pay. Do you know waitresses only get about $2.50 per hour. They DEPEND on your tips!

In my Statistics class, I partner up with Brittney and James. Brittney is a cute, African America, who is always smiling. She’s really smart, too! James is a “non-traditional” student like me (although way younger!) who has a wife and at least one child that I know. He’s also smart, so I’ve got a good study group for Statistics! We’re all three struggling to get through this class so having them as partners, helps a lot.

Speaking of “nontraditionals,” there are two others in my classes that are older adults going back to school. Sterling and Phyllis. Sterling is a good debater. He knows how to put his point across without being offensive. I love hearing him take up a cause even when I don’t agree. Phyllis is our resident English teacher and a former homeschool mom, like me. She’s taking a full load and works harder than all of us. As you can expect, she’s a good writer, too.

This is just a few of them. I’ll write more in another blog. My main point is that they’re all terrific. They’ve blessed my life just in getting to know them.

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