It's Never Too Late to Appreciate a Great Education

When I was young, I didn't appreciate school one bit. It was little more than a place to meet up with my friends. I never did think much about my future or what I might want to do for a career, unlike my sister who knew she wanted to be a teacher when she was a young girl. My parents were restuarant owners/managers and it seemed likely that I would follow their footsteps. And, at first I did.

Much to the dismay of my family and friends, I quit school when I was in Grade 11 and moved out west just for adventure's sake. I admit thinking before leaping was not one of my strong suits. As the story goes, I married young and had a son, Kevin. I was a stay at home mom until my marriage feel apart, at the ripe old age of 20. As a result, I went to work as a waitress, which, for the most part, I enjoyed. However, when Kevin was approaching school age, I decided I needed to change jobs since I worked mostly nights and weekends (I'd never see Kev).

In 1987, as Kevin was marching off to Primary, I was marching off to Business College. I studied business courses such as: computers, accounting, communications, business math, etc. When I graduated in 1988 with a Word Processing Diploma, I decided I wasn't done with my education yet, so I re-enrolled in to my old high school. As an adult, I truly began to appreciate the value of a good education. I paid attention in class, never miss lessons, did my homework and soaked up knowledge like a parched puppy at the water pump.

When I graduated from high school (with an additional accounting diploma), I appied for and was accepted into Mount Saint Vincent University. Going to the Mount was a life changing experience for me. After studying part-time for nine years, I graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Information Technology degree(a four-year program). While I was attending the Mount, I gained valuable work experience by taking part-time and contract positions which I received through my Mount contacts.

One of the most valuable work experiences I had was a (four-year) part-time position as a records clerk in the President's Office. Through this position, I met many people and learned the basics of working in a busy, executive office. While working under the supervision of the president's executive assistant, I helped with basic administrative tasks. For instance, I helped prepare items for various meetings such as executive, deans, and the Board of Governor's meetings, etc. It was through this job that I met Sister Betty Bellefontaine. Sister Betty was the head of the Department of Religious Studies, and had been elected to the Leadership Team of the Sisters of Charity--Halifax. She called me at the president's office one day to ask me if I was interested in applying for a full-time secretary position with the Leadership Team of the Sisters of Charity--Halifax. Before I graduated from my program I began to work for Sister Betty (and many more) with the agreement that I continue taking my courses until I graduate. And I did. I worked for the Sisters for the next seven years.

I met my partner, Eric, on an Internet chat site about nine years ago. At the time, he lived in Liverpool, and I lived in Halifax. We dated for six months before I decided to move to Liverpool. This was a crazy idea because I'm from Truro and knew next to nothing about the south shore. Here I go again, a leaping . . .

It's all good! When I moved to Liverpool, Eric showed me around and I fell in love with the area. The beaches, trees, rivers, lakes, I never want to move from the Liverpool area...I can honestly say I love living here. (We bought a small house in Milton and nine years later we are still as happy as two clams.)

When was I looking for a job that was as satisfying as the last few positions I had, I was unsure until I met a friend of Eric's who works for the school board. She suggested that I apply for a school administrative assistant job, and I did! I began working for the South Shore Regional School Board in 2004. I worked part-time for two-years before I secured a full-time position at Petite Riviere Elementary School (2006). And, the rest is history ... Working as a school administrative in a small, seaside, country school is a dream job for me. I intent to work there until I retire.

Although I am secure in my job (I have good senority), exploring options so that I may work for myself part-time is one of my life's goals. I work 10.5 months a year with long-weekends so I have the time to invest. Learning new skills has been a part of life for some years now. I plan to continue learning new things for the rest of my life!

That's why I made an appointment with a NSCC career councillor. With Kathleen's help, I'm exploring and planning various educational, professional, and personal goals. Taking the Website Development course was the first step in my new educational adventure. I now love leaping into life-long learning!

Favourite Quotes

Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.

Theodore Rosevelt

When your work speaks for itself, don't interrupt.

Henery J. Kaiser

Nothing ever comes to one, that is worth having, except as a result of hard work.

Booker T. Washington