"The Book of Me, Written by You" - Colleges & University

This is a journey of finding yourself and how your loved ones see you in their eyes. Further, this can be online and carried forward to share, if you wish, to future generations.
This is a journey of finding yourself and how your loved ones see you in their eyes. Further, this can be online and carried forward to share, if you wish, to future generations. - See more at:
This is a journey of finding yourself and how your loved ones see you in their eyes. Further, this can be online and carried forward to share, if you wish, to future generations. - See more at:
The prompt for the week is:    
Colleges & University
The Brief:
  • Did you go to college and / or University
    • if not, did you want to or did you not want to?
    • did you perhaps change your mind at a later date?
  • What did you study?
  • Was your studying vocational or a step on the ladder to another profession?
  • What was the educational path you took to get to University or college?
  • Where did you go? & why there?
  • Regrets of study choice?
  • Did you belong to clubs there?
  • Friends?
  • Pictures?
As always, share what you are comfortable with.

Elementary/Primary to High School
Education was always a big thing with me, but at the same time it was hated because I was always made to feel like I was different because of my learning disability the school system said I had. From elementary school, when it was first noted, I always felt like an outcast whenever I was at school because I was always separated from everyone else for most of the day because I needed "special" classes they said.

This went with my envelop with the award in 5th grade
My fifth grade teacher, Mr McGinnis, took the time and spent time with me to make me feel special and made me feel like I was like everyone else. It was the first time I ever felt like that - ever.  
An award I won in 5th grade

Then it ended and I was mixed back in and it seemed like I was shuffled around a bit more. I got frustrated and started to let grades slide. I just didn't care any longer especially after my ankles started to cause programs and the teacher, Mrs Goldberg, took it out on me like it was my fault. Again, it caused me to be separated out from everyone else and after awhile I didn't care anymore. My grades slid. 

Then something, I have no idea what, clicked and my grades started to go up by the 8th grade. To the point where half way through the school year they took me out of my lower math class and put me into the higher class. I did struggle but so would anyone who came into the class when it was 2/3 of the way through the school year. Ever since then, I've had a hate relationship with math. However, I started putting in a tiny bit of effort and my grades went up and up. I fought to take beginners French, and ended up making a deal of if my grades slid then I was out of the class, but if they didn't then I was to stay in the class. I stayed and finished with almost a A or 90 grade level.  Needless to say I told them don't ever tell me no because I will fight you - the guidance counselor smiled and knew I meant what I said. 
Orange-Ulster Vocational Center in Goshen, NY

Trade/Vocational School
Then came talk of what to take for my 11th and 12th classes. I told them I wanted to go to Orange-Ulster BOCES or Vocational Center and I wanted something to do with computers. They started saying they didn't know and made noises of it being to hard for me. I just told them if they remember the French class I had just taken. That shut them up quickly. Off I went to do my technical degree in 1990, while finishing up my high school diploma. 

Then I was asked kindly, at first, if I wanted to go to the FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) conference they were having. I knew money was a problem and told them no. Then they asked again, and I rejected it again. Then about 3 months before I was told they really wanted me to go and would help me in any way possible. Personally, I think they did it because I was getting board and kept "visiting" the other two classes in the hall to see what they were learning and then going back to my class because I was bored. Anyhow, they found out about the financial situation, so they put it if we could sell enough cookies then that would pay for the trip except for spending money. Then I agreed, only to find the teachers said there were competitions and they wanted me to go into the Financial Information Processing contest. I was told it wasn't easy, but just do the best I could. They gave me practice exams and I asked many questions as to what it contained and slowly figured things out. Apparently no one ever won any plaques from there for the competition, but they kept trying. 

Clubs & Organizations
Anyhow, I buckled down and got to studying how things went together and put things together to make sense to me. I had them give me tests and figured out where I went wrong - and I kept up with all my studies both at Orange-Ulster Vocational Center AND at Valley Central High School. This is in addition to working part time and watching and visiting my nieces, who I am very close to. 

Then came the weekend I was to go away to the conference in Rochester, New York. Most of the weekend was a blur I have to admit. What I can remember is when it came time to sit down and take that test, I started to freak out. Then I calmed down and focused - problem after problem. Then it was over with. For myself, I felt like I failed - myself because I didn't get it done, the school because I thought I got more wrong than right due to my freaking out and just felt like an idiot. Then came the last day and the presentation of awards. How flabbergasted was I when I tied for 5th place in all of the state of New York? I don't remember walking to the stage, but I remember all the lights and flashes of cameras going off. Apparently, I was the only one (to that point) to ever win anything at one of these conferences. 

By the time June 1991 arrived, I finished both High School and Orange-Ulster Vocational Center's courses - both with high 90's grade point averages. I ended up inducted into both Honor Societies, and was given the Outstanding Student Award at Orange-Ulster Vocational Center. I even ended up winning a small scholarship.

Orange-Ulster BOCES Vo-Tech Award
BOCES Vo-Tech Honor Sash
VCHS Honor Cords
Scholarship Award from the PTO

My official card to the Honor Society


Community College
Then I started college at Orange County Community College (OCCC) ( - however each time I try this link its broken) in Middletown, New York in the fall of 1991. It wasn't encouraged at all. If anything it seemed like I shouldn't be going because it was all a waste of time. My mother was trying to pull me to get a full time job after the first 6 months (which I ended up getting 3 part time jobs). I had a difficult time at first as it was different studying than what I was used to and it took me about a year to adjust and my grades sucked - in addition to the school threatening me to do better or get out. Once I did, everything was fine - I wasn't a great student but I was no longer failing either.

Clubs at Community College
I got into the Computer Club. First as a member and by the time I graduated from OCCC, I was Vice President of the club and we won Club of the Year. A first for the club as everyone didn't know much about the club, but by the end of the year they did. 

Computer club trip to Boston, MA
One year's members for the Computer Club
Winning the club of the year award
In summer of 1994, I graduated from OCCC in Business Computer Technology. It was quite a deal as there was over 30 people that started and there was only 8 of us who finished. I was proud of what I accomplished if nothing else.

State University
In the winter of 1994, I was talking to a group of friends about what I was going to do. I could stay and look for jobs in the area but chances were not good unless I wanted to be an office worker. Not that there was anything wrong with that, but my passion was coding. I fell in love with lines of code - I could sit down and write and figure it out without a problem. In the end I was talked into taking out a couple of huge loans and went for 2 terms (one in 1995 and one in 1996) to SUNY Institute of Technology at Utica/Rome (now known as SUNY Polytechnic Institute). Financially I knew it was going to be a struggle, but I figure at the end at least I would be able to get some place. However, the struggles with the financial side of things was too much for me and I ended up leaving because I just couldn't affording. The one great thing that came about was I met my husband while away at SUNY. It resulted in me leaving the US and moving to Australia.

Australian University
Once life started to slow down a bit and I had a bit of money to spare, I applied for and got into Monash University as a distance learner. I was working about 60 hours a week as and EDP operator /
Assistant Manager when the IT manager wasn't around for P&O. My grades where in the normal range - about a C level. I was happy with that. However, I ended up loosing my job which meant I could no longer finish my degree - again. Further, they kept changing the course name and courses and it frustrated me to no end.

It took me awhile to find another employment position for some reason. After this, I gave up taking classes unless they were small ones. I figured they weren't getting me very far so why bother? Then when there was rumour of job losses (one of them was my level) I looked again and figured I could get the paperwork of what I have been doing for years - coding webpages. It was still coding, which I hadn't given up I had just switched from mainframe to pc based and then into webpage based coding.


In 2013, I received my Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, at Chisholm TAFE, so I could teach in the Learn Local sector.  This is I could help out the community by teaching business, IT or computer classes. Shortly after, I lost my government position as they had cut my entire level within our department.

In July 2014, I finished up a Certificate IV in Web Based Technology, at Chisholm TAFE, with HD grades - high distinction grades. HD is basically 100 or nearly 100% of a grade. I was thrilled and figured it wouldn't be too long before I had a job.

However, sitting here just starting 2015, and still no full time job prospects. Now I'm wondering if the investment I put in for my Certificate IV was really worth it as I'm still not working in that industry.

  Check back for the continuation of "The Book of me, Written by You" series.    


  1. Very interesting! I hope that full time job comes for you soon.