As I approach my 78th birthday and reflect upon my long and beautiful life I am so thankful for family and friends who have enriched my life and given it so much meaning. There are however, some things I would have liked to have done that my children and grandchildren have been able to accomplish. I would have loved to go to university and I would have loved to learn to speak French fluently. Last weekend I was able to visit my granddaughter who is attending University of McGill in the French-speaking city of Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Upon reflection, I realize how fortunate she is to be living in a French-speaking city and attending the university of her choice. Likewise my other grandchildren have been able to attend other universities in Canada where they have been able to pursue their dreams and their education. Each university offers students the opportunity to study a discipline in which they are interested, the chance to meet other like minded people with whom they may establish lifelong friendships, to be challenged in their academic pursuit by professional and wise professors who come from varied backgrounds and bring a wealth of knowledge to their teaching and to experience ‘school’ in a new way as they become independent learners.
I have been privileged to observe young people in the university years from being the very involved parent to the arms length involvement of a grandparent. Both experiences have been a joy as well as a challenge at times, as I have seen them grow into self confident, independent thinkers and mature persons who are now able to contribute to their world and make a difference in and to it.
My heartfelt message to parents with young children who care deeply about their children’s future education is to be patient and open to new experiences for your children.
– Jan Gledhill