Thursday, March 22, 2012

Wisdom on Wheels: School

I am very blessed to have been homeschooled throughout my educational journey, but I didn't start out that way. The first couple of years of my formal education took place in public school in a special Ed program. Well it is not my intention to totally trash them or to purposely make them look bad; it is certainly not an understatement to say that they drastically undermined my potential.
They said things to my parents such as "we can't teach him to read," or "he needs speech therapy." (Those who know me and have watched me grow up know how crazy that is!) When my school wanted to bring me back for a second year of first grade, my parents made the bold move to begin homeschooling me.

Again, I do not want to be mean-spirited about this, but considering that the thing that most sticks out in my mind about that school year is the three times we changed classrooms, it is evident that there was a problem and I will always be grateful to my parents for having the courage and conviction to pull me out of that environment. Although the school was never easy, I never failed another grade again and now hold a bachelors degree in communications.

I think that it is important for people to realize that just because someone is physically disabled does not mean they are mentally incompetent. I was capable of a lot more than what my early teachers believed. I just needed individual attention and parents (especially a father) who would not allow me to quit. I received my college degree in 2006 largely because my father pushed me to excel. While I was not happy about it at the time, I will always be grateful that he didn't let me quit.

When I got done with high school, the last thing I wanted to do was think about more school. I firmly believe that if I could have worked manual labor I would've chosen not to go to college. My father's wisdom prevailed upon me though. He told me that with all my other challenges lack of an education should not be one of them.

College was indeed a major challenge for me. After all, it takes talent to squeeze four years of college into seven!! :) I took 2 to 3 classes a semester and learned that slow and steady does indeed win the race. (Incidentally that amounted to what I was able to afford financially, so I was able to pay cash for my degree) I dealt with some difficult situations including a teacher who said that I should cut back on the number of classes I was taking because I was struggling in a class, but I persevered.

Because of a recommitment that I had made to God following high school my GPA went from 3.0 to 3.9. God gets all the glory because to this day I am not academic. God helped me complete every class and I can truly say that completing my degree in the manner in which I did was a living example of the fact that I serve a God who can do "is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,” Ephesians 3:20

I want to encourage you that if God can do this in my life he can certainly work mightily in yours. Seek him and he will direct you. Every person's journey is different, but God's promises are the same "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:” Philippians 1:6

Andrew Gommesen