|Kelly Writers House, my favorite place to be
on the University of Pennsylvania’s campus
Why did I attend college at the time in my memoir life? A time when my twins, the youngest, started second grade. A time when my learning disabled, oldest child needed me more than ever at the dawn of her high school years. A time when all five of my young children needed me to be the calm, supportive mother they had always known.
This reason to go to college should be a necessity and not simply a desire one of my writing friends said. And I believe she’s right. But what can that necessity be?
At the time I was considering college in my memoir, I was knee deep in motherhood. But I also wanted to publish short stories in children’s magazines. I wanted to establish a writing career.
[I know…who didn’t.]
This was before social media and blogs. Before the internet craze. For me, it was before writers’ groups and organized courses outside the home. My husband was sole provider of seven and travelled occasionally for business.
I felt as if I were trapped in that home, sometimes, shackled to motherhood and unable to better myself through formal education. I adored my children. Still do. They are, after all, my life. My happiness. I wouldn’t change a thing. Really!
But after redoing the twins’ baby room with rejection notices—the paper kind, remember those?—I decided that education was key to publication. At least I felt it would equal the playing field between me and published writers, established writers, the writers I was reading who talked of their college experience in articles they wrote in the baby’s and lady’s magazines I read. I didn’t have this experience. College was not an option when I graduated from high school in my blue collar neighborhood. Only a select few went off to college. I knew nothing about junior college or college loans.
It took me seven years to get the courage to enroll in a community college, in classes that met regularly—outside of the home. I had taken correspondence courses, again before the internet craze, in children’s literature. These only whet my appetite for that renaissance understanding of the world.
Little did I know how ill-prepared I was for college. But that’s what the memoir is about. My quest for knowledge and how I grappled with feelings of insecurity, feelings of selfishness leaving my family behind to become a college student and gain knowledge. About finally becoming published. About someone wanting to read my words. About someone learning from my words.
You beautiful readers have been very kind to me, leaving notes on my blog. Please offer any opinions as to whether you feel this may be that need to attend college I’m looking for or offer your precious guidance, so necessary to my writing life. Thank you.