Note: This is the fourth essay in the series of “Why We Love Autumn.” I recently asked some friends who love autumn as much as I do to reflect on what made them so excited for autumn to arrive. The answers will be varied and have a different voice each post. Crystal and I have known each since the days of green jeans and Physics is Phun. C$ also knows how to keep it real. Just ask her.
I’d imagine that most of my friends anticipate me writing something funny about fall. I guess that if I thought hard enough I could come up with a few jokes about leaves, branches, and maybe tree trunks. Then throw in a “that’s what she said, or he said,” joke. I was going to write a post about my love of fall foods and spices and show you how to make apple bread (see my blog). Strangely enough, and yes, it catches me off guard too; my love of fall has little to do with food and leaves. It turns out my love is deeply rooted in education.
My parents are two of the most passionate people (that I know) about education. They would constantly talk, lecture, and preach about the importance of getting an education. My dad worked for the federal government analyzing how federal dollars were spent in the K-12 system and my mom as an administrator at three major universities. Outside of their professional lives, they both worked hard to put themselves through undergraduate and graduate programs as non-traditional students. I not only got to hear them preach about the importance of studying, but they truly led by example. I remember watching them both walk across the stage at all of their graduation ceremonies.
Thinking back, I saw how going to college truly changed their lives and gave them hope. Hope that they could make a change, hope that their children would not make the same mistakes, and hope that education could open endless doors to them. Now as a graduate student and an administrator at The College of William & Mary I see the same thing every fall. A new set of students walking on campus eager to learn and eager to make a difference. It always feels like a new beginning, a new year, and a new sense of hope.
My three schools in the fall; North Carolina State University, Georgetown University, and The College of William & Mary