Student Voices {Support Public Higher Education}

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Paul's Voice

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How have increased tuition fees impacted you and your family?:
I worked hard, both in school and doing two jobs to get through school. I finished my undergrad degree in 2008. Finding a job was nightmarish. I took whatever jobs would have me but ended up getting laid off three times in one year. I was forced to move home. Again I couldn't find a job so I volunteered tutoring kids to occupy my time. Deciding that I liked teaching, I enrolled at SF State's Masters in composition program so that I could help others in community college achieve their own goals. I received the great honor of teaching a freshman composition class as a part of the program. I really felt like I began to develop as a teacher. I didn't mind the greatly reduced monthly stipend. After-all, we're students and the experience is the real payment. However, then, we were told that because of budget cuts, we wouldn't get classes in the Spring. We wouldn't get the opportunity to continue to develop as teachers. I'm not sure if the brass understand: WE WANT TO TEACH. WE WANT TO HELP PEOPLE HELP THEMSELVES. WE WANT TO BETTER THE LIVES AND THE ECONOMIES IN OUR COMMUNITIES. HOWEVER, EVERY STEP OF THE WAY, EDUCATION ALWAYS HAS TO SHOULDER THE BRUNT OF THE STATE'S DEFICITS. ALWAYS. WE AREN'T ASKING A LOT. BUT WHEN DO TEACHERS GET TO TEACH WITHOUT WORRYING IF THEY'LL HAVE JOBS IN TWO MONTHS? WHEN DO STUDENTS GET TO ENJOY CLASSES WITHOUT WORRYING ABOUT HOW THEY'RE GOING TO PAY OFF THEIR LOANS? WHEN IS EDUCATION ALWAYS THE ONE TO BE THROWN TO THE WOLVES?


What are you studying at SF State and what do you hope to do once you graduate?:
I'm studying in the English composition Masters program. My plan is to teach composition at a community college once I've graduated.


Paul G., 29 San Francisco



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