Accounting Principles changed the direction of my life. Seriously, it really did! I was enrolled in my second year as an undergraduate student as a marketing major. My goal in life was to be a business tycoon. But then accounting principles rolled around in the degree plan. The professor had just earned his PHD at a prominent university in the Midwest. He told us on the first day of class that accounting principles would be a weed-out course. In his estimation, 50% of us would not pass that semester. I struggled and struggled… And it did not help that I had a love interest that was definitely distracting me! Ultimately, I dropped the course. In fact, I dropped out of school mid-term that semester. There were multiple issues going on in my life. My future as a business tycoon started seeming very unlikely.
I transferred to another university the spring semester of that academic year. I finished an undergraduate degree and went on to graduate school as well. I was later privileged to do some adjunct teaching for two universities. As an instructor, I started a tradition on the first day of class. I told the students about my professor of accounting principles. The looks on their faces were priceless. But I was quick to point out that my accounting professor was clueless as an educator. And I stressed that I wanted to do everything within my power to help them to succeed that particular semester. The professor of accounting taught me very little in that field, but he unknowingly taught me a lot about how to be an educator.
At age 52, I am back in school. I know…how can crazy can you get? I am working on a master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling. I love the program. My cohort is exceptional. I am ready to be equipped to serve in new and exciting ways. But this semester I am taking statistics. My brain is not wired for statistics any more than it is for accounting. The same insecurities and fears I had as a 19 year old undergraduate student have returned with a vengeance this semester.
Our professor has not said a word about “weeding us out of the program.” In fact, she has repeatedly encouraged us to email her with questions. She has also stated repeatedly that she simply wants us to learn the material. I believe she has the heart of an educator. And I am grateful that I may actually survive statistics.
How do we treat people? Do we set them up for failure? Or do we do everything within our power to help them to succeed? I am thankful for the true educators I have been blessed with over the years. And I am even thankful for a clueless professor of accounting. I would have never made it as a business tycoon, if I could not account for the millions that would have poured in! Let’s commit to setting others up for success.