So, what’s the story?
I found my passion for knowledge when I was a young girl about 11 or 12 years old trying my best to make sense of the world and to meet the expectations set before me. I panicked. Of course I still thought my parents knew everything. I was frustrated to learn they did NOT! My mother had a limited education and very little idea how to design a path to achievement. What she didn’t even realize herself is that she possessed skills she would impart which were taught through generations of female business owners within my family. One day as we were putting together a new appliance for our home pouring over the owner’s manual, I remember turning to her and asking, “where is the owner’s manual for this life you gave me?” She laughed with such conviction I realized that she must have confronted the same question in her life!
To me, it wasn’t a joke. I was very worried about what it all meant and how to put a life together. My father came from a family of farmers, generations deep. He graduated from high school and wanted to attend college, but the family farm came first. His reason, according to him, he “liked to eat, and preferably, daily.” No shortage of humor and sarcasm in my father’s household! He later joined the Navy, and after serving during WWII, returned to the states becoming a salesman, and later an Insurance Adjuster. Who in the heck decides they want to be an Insurance Adjuster when they are envisioning their future? Like most people with only a general trajectory from high school, he “stirred the pot to see what might surface,” instead of doing sufficient planning to facilitate the opportunity that followed his passions in engineering and product design.
Fast forward to my generation when I was contemplating my future path. What most individuals fail to plan for are the forces of nature, social discord, and of course Murphy’s Law. Such as life in it’s ever evolving facets of change at converging levels, I was thrust into various experiences providing valuable knowledge and insight to human as well as business development which I would later pursue in my education and then in my own research in those fields. At each new plateau, usually presenting once or twice per decade, my astronomical desire for a measurable level of certainty left me feeling helpless in an uncertain world riddled with changing circumstances, expectations, limited availability or accessibility, not to mention juggling with socio-economic factors at each stage.
I attribute the feelings of confusion and helplessness to most, if not all, teenagers through young adult age, but really this feeling can surface at any time in a person’s life when forced to deal with life-changing alterations to their status quo. Many adults eventually develop a way to manage their feelings, though they never completely escape the effects. I have determined this to be the cause of angst and rebellion at any age! We are trained from school age through college level that our plans for the day will be laid out before us and we are not required to think about designing our day’s work goals for ourselves. So, as we age, too we expect the universe will just deal us whatever is intended to be ours by happenstance!
One day, I went into a bookstore to see what sort of reading material was available to youth. I took photos because I was enraged to see that we are setting our youth up to fail. As parents and society, we present youth with a life of fantasy. We show that we value fiction over actual history, and fantasy over valuable reference combined with instilling a work ethic and sense of accomplishment as worthy goals.
There I was, staring down the only 3 aisles of books reserved for “teens” and only one column within the entire teen section was non-fiction. Think about this for a minute. Our kids are led around by the nose BY ADULTS pretty much 14 hours a day for the first 18, or more, years of their life! I completely understand, most parents are too busy attempting to navigate their own rabbit holes. Many times it is the result of our own selfishness and exhaustion brought on by our own personal unending war with adversities, and wear and tear from the constant tide of overlapping responsibilities. We whisper to ourselves, “anything to keep he/she/them quiet; anything to be SURE he/she/they are safe and not costing us another bill we cannot afford on top of the other bills we struggle to pay on time!”
In the same damaging stroke, teachers assign our kids an insurmountable heap of mostly irrelevant, trivial, or soon to be obsolete information which fails to provide experiential learning which is known to be the most influential type of learning. Once again, the focus for adults is in keeping teens busy and out of trouble instead of oriented toward personal development and relevant interest based projects geared toward productive outcomes. Instead, a measure of general knowledge to hold educators accountable in some way is the goal. Bogging down teens with reading authored by educators for the purpose of teaching general topics or subjects of their own interest, frees up educators to navigate their own challenges at work and home.
Parents are not given any credit or confidence to educate on our own. At home, not knowing anything different, we hand our pride and joys the latest video games, and fantasy in the form of books and the newest movies along with music to be used as a coping mechanism for a feeling caused by an elusive enemy. Society has come to expect our teenagers to develop a craving to escape their dismay using many of the same vices they witness adults exploit. Due to their sixth sense for the impending doom, they fight, or so it seems. Teens are not quite sure what they are grappling with, but they are very aware of the invisible force that will soon be thrust upon them. Then, BOOM! We throw them to the wolves and expect them to be completely knowledgeable, self-sufficient, and financially independent.
Teens do realize that we are giving them SOME of what they will need, but they are forced to put the pieces together simultaneously feeling around in the dark to figure out EXACTLY what is missing AND find out how to get it! OUR BAD! I have asked other teaching professionals why the voids exist and they are baffled. Why do you ask? Teachers are taught only to teach the esoteric skills and theoretical, and conceptual material that has little to do with REAL life applications. They are required to teach with little flexibility granted to engage in practical applications addressing individualized student interests. LITERALLY! They are not given the chance to challenge their students with questions but are required to shovel the information in as fast as students can regurgitate it. I have found that there is currently no general reference for an organized method of teaching how to put theory to work! BING! (lightbulb switches on over my head)
At certain points in our life after we slowly managed to stumble into some organized pattern of existence where we are making ends meet, or NOT, and we determine we are okay, we are soon thrust into change with NO CLUE where the drawing board IS let alone how to engage in the figurative stumble once again. I have worked with individuals or groups ranging from: a) struggling and established entrepreneurs, b) business professionals wishing to expand their knowledge about Human Resource Development (HRD), c) professional and independent educators, d) young people starting their lives from scratch with relatively “0” guidance or those still putting the pieces together “hodge-podge” on their own, e) people displaced by technological innovation, f) transitions from military service to civilian careers, g) women emerging from post-divorce hell, h) or anyone with a lack of documented experience wondering how to adapt. I say this in no UNCERTAIN terms. It’s an ill-reputed system designed produce repeated failures! Let’s FIX IT!
From my complete dissatisfaction with this “Frankensteined” system, I created my own independent learning curriculum standard and coaching platform which is designed to be worked into any theory-based education conceived to date. I teach Business and Human Resource Development Professionals, Professional Trainers, Coaches, Collaborators (Parents, Advocates, Educators), and students as early as Junior High. I work with any individuals or groups. Anyone can benefit from any trajectory as we work together to forge a design for individualized paths to success. I glow when you glow!
My experience comes from educating children through young adults for 20+ years. Knowing the serious void that existed in our system of education in this country, I was determined to educate my children and provide the benefit of a truly meaningful, practical, independent learning experience which I realized early on was the key to actual learning and retention. At first, I was nervous! Would the youth entrust to me through co-ops, workshops, independent projects, coaching, and structured coursework receive everything they would need to carry them where they wanted to go in life?
My answer didn’t come until both my youngest and my oldest tested into required college-level courses at 15 and 16 years of age. Other students receiving my instruction through various outlets called to thank me for the skills that prepared them for college and the workforce. Finally! I was confident that I stumbled across the key while turning over every stone in an effort to be thorough as I ventured outside the status quo to reach my goals.
I hold degrees and lengthy experience in Business Administration, Liberal Arts with an emphasis in Social and Behavioral Science, and Pre-Law. Check!
Now . . . let’s do you!