Stacey FreemanWhen I started my master’s degree at Union Institute & University I eventually figured out that I didn’t need to be three different people. My home life, my work life, and my school life began to overlap, began to meld into one coherent form. I realized, with the help of the faculty and staff at Union, that I wasn’t three different people. At Union I finally became the person I truly am. I finally became myself. Most of the writing assignments I completed while at Union not only demonstrated my breadth of knowledge as a meager graduate student but also reflected my struggle as a single mom of a son with ADHD and the drudgery of being an employee at a rural Wal-Mart Distribution Center. The work I completed at Union reflects who I am and has prepared me for the next stage in my life, for the next role I will play, as an adjunct at a local community college.

Apparently my role as a mom and my role as a Wal-Mart employee are just as relevant as my education. Those roles are relevant because those are the same roles that the students, particularly on the community college level, are forced to embrace. They, as I am, are parents, employees, and students. They, as I do, want something more. Every role I have ever played, every experience I have ever had, will help me relate to my students, will help me understand the difficulties my students endure, will aid me in being compassionate toward their plight, will allow me to appreciate the sacrifices my students will be forced to make just to show up to class. In this next role as Composition Instructor I will still be a mom, I will still be a Wal-Mart employee, and I will still be a student. Though I know I will be teaching, I also know I will be learning. I have a feeling my students will have much to teach me. I have a feeling that my true education is about to begin."