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What is it like to go back to school as an adult?
This is the question I was asked, and this is my response.

Apple and Textbook by Beulah Iqbal


I was given the opportunity in March of 1998; I was not too sure of what I was getting myself into.   I went home and spoke to my husband, and three children.   They were all in favour of it and, as a matter of fact, encouraged me to go.   Within three days of the first offer, I was signing a contract between Seneca College, the Ministry, my Agency, and myself.   You see, this was an Apprenticeship Pilot Program for which 278 people had applied, but only 37 were accepted.   This "Early Childhood Education" program would have cost me $7,000.00 had I gone the regular route.   When I was informed that I had been accepted, I knew that this was Godís will.

Hunny Bear Studying The program got under way.   I worked full time and went to school part time in the evenings; the other evenings were taken up by homework.   I was asked by family and friends to drop the offices I was holding in the Church to help make my load a little lighter.   At times I was tempted to do so, but my grades were still up there and somehow I kept on going.   My husband and children divided up the chores at home between themselves, so that I was only doing the cooking every Sunday for the whole week.   Sohail complained about not having roti (Indian bread) anymore, but he solved that problem by buying frozen ones.   Needless to say, life was not easy for any of us.   For two summers I took a leave of absence from work and went to school full time (9:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.) and then met with the group of girls to work on group assignments in the evenings.

Girl With 'A' This last summer seven of the girls dropped out of the course due to the fact that the work load was too heavy.   Sohail said to me one evening, "In the 20 years that we have been together, I have never seen you so stressed out."   But the six weeks came to an end soon enough, and all 17 assignments were handed in on time.   My major exam went really well.   At the end, much to my surprise, I was on the Presidentís Honour List.   I think I know how I got on there, because there were times when I myself was not sure about the assignment I had just handed in, whether or not it was right, and then I got it back from the teacher with an "A".   I knew then that, yes, I was working hard, but the Aís were a direct answer to my prayers every time I handed something in.   When asked by some of the girls in my class as to how I was doing it, I did not hesitate to tell them that it was not me, but rather the hand of God that was leading me. I have no doubt in my mind about that.

Fuzzy Bear Giving Apple
What is it like to go back to school?   It is a lot of work, with a lot of help needed from your family and friends and your Church family.   It was fun at times.   It was a "learning experience" to say the least.   In closing, I would like to thank my husband Sohail, my children, Shakeel, Shazia, and Shahid.   My friend Joyce who did all the photocopying for me, for free.   My Sabbath School Department for going on without much leadership, and also to Mary Smith, Donna, Joann, Janet, and again Joyce for keeping the Childrenís Departments going.   Thank you all for all your love and support.

Apples and Textbooks