Message to my students, current and past

Dear beloved students,

As I wrap up the semester at MDC, I look over the names of students who started out doing well and continued through to the end. I look over students who started out poorly and learned to improve their work in my class.

Then I see the others, the ones who let someone or something pull them from their focus on this class they believed they needed to make their dreams come true. I’m not saying ENC 1101 or ENC 1102 are necessary for those student to live their dreams. Far from it. What I’m seeing, though, is students who thought this is what they wanted but, some time during the semester, decided something else was more important. Sometimes it’s family issues, children, parents, grandparents … I’m not talking about that. Family issues are personal and nothing to be judged. What I’m concerned about is something else.

There’s the students with two or three jobs that won’t allow them to attend class or do their homework.

Camping on Mt. Shasta in October, 2015.
Camping on Mt. Shasta in October, 2015.

There’s the employers who schedule you despite the fact they know about your school schedule.

There’s the employers who beg for help because one coworker or another is slacking and you’re the only one who can help. Sure, that makes you feel good about yourself, like you’re appreciated, but, many times, it’s an employer ruse, a lie to keep you working loyally.

Let me tell you something I’ve learned over years of working in a variety of jobs: No one will give you the benefit of the doubt if you need a degree to attain that promotion. They will forget that they, themselves, (the employers) are the reason you do not have a degree.

You need to speak out for yourself.

I tell you this because you need to decide what is more important, a good education or a job you enjoy. If you enjoy your job and they don’t care if you have a degree, then accept your life and don’t feel bad about the choice you make. You will probably lead a very happy life.

If, however, your employer needs you to have a degree but refuses to work with you, then that contradicts their ultimate goal and you’ll get left by the side of the road when they decide on promotions and pink slips.

There used to be a time when employers prided themselves on creating a family in the workplace. They supported the employees and took care of them whenever they could in order to keep the work family happy. That rarely happens now.

I’m not trying to be preachy. I just don’t want you to be taken advantage of like it has happened to those I love time and time again.

Above all else, I want you to understand what you really want out of life, and, once you do, I want you to believe it can happen for you, because it can if you allow it. There’s a long life ahead of you, make it your own, follow your dreams, not someone else’s. And, like a good man once said, don’t let the assholes bring you down!

Much love, your teacher,

Prof. Locklin

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