My Project Proposal
I have chosen an institutional autobiography for my project. I will focus on my parents' educational values and how they affected and directed me; how CUNY has played such a major role in my life, wedding the educational with the personal--my parents both went to CUNY for their BAs, I went for my BA and now for my MA, I met my ex-husband here, I met my current boyfriend here, I work here, etc.--and how I am still so closely connected to the university (student and administrative employee; an interesting opportunity to see things from both sides), and continually shaped by the institution; and how I feel that my later in life (comparatively speaking) decision to teach was in many ways an inevitability, based on my family life growing up and my present life as a daily participant in an educational community. My goal in writing this, I think, is a little selfish. In order to better understand myself and the (somewhat circuitous) road I took to get where I am today, I want to explore coming of age in a family where the parents already held advanced degrees, so the kids could not be the first to go to college (a more "typical" education story, I think--one our professor shared as his own) and instead struggled to find a way to claim some path as their own (in terms of schooling and educational choices) and to assert some sort of independence and individuality in a family where education was constantly discussed as a fundamental component of living a good (i.e., productive) life and achieving personal enrichment and growth. How do three pretty smart kids claim a "first" at anything when the educational bar was already set so high? (Hint: rebellion. None of us went to college straight out of high school.) I will likely reference both Miller and Rodriguez and maybe some other readings from this semester.