Monday, January 30, 2012

Question of the Week: Who Inspired You to Be Educated?

Last week I attended a lecture that discussed some of the major factors that determine whether young women in Utah attend and complete college. The study focuses on young women in Utah due to a recent trend which places graduation rates for Utah women below the national average. Many of the most significant factors came down to the people who are in a young woman's life, and what they say about her potential for education.

And it got me thinking about the various people who influenced my decision to continue with higher education. When I was growing up, my mother always told me that it wasn't enough to get a Bachelor's degree (which is what she had at the time), but that as part of a younger generation I'd need to get a Master's degree too. So I always intended to go to college and grad school - and I don't think any of my teachers ever questioned whether I intended to go to college and at least get a BA. And even when I dated a very conservative boy who was distraught by my determination to go to grad school, I had no problem standing my ground, even when my educational goals factored into our break up. But it wasn't until a college professor rather forcefully encouraged me to pursue a PhD that I really considered that path.

So, I suppose other people have factored into my educational goals quite a bit.

How about you? Who influenced your educational goals, either for good or for bad?

I'd also find it interesting if commenters wouldn't mind sharing their gender, as gender may very well factor into your answers.


  1. I'm not sure it was a "who" so much as religious doctrine that said to study EVERYTHING and read all the good books (D&C 88:79, 118).

  2. Carl, but what got you from the idea of studying everything, to the conclusion that a PhD was the way to do it?

  3. I think subconsciously it was a ton of people (my grandmas, my dad, my mom, my teachers). I was good at school, and therefore everyone seemed to assume I'd go to college. Though of course going to college and becoming educated are not always synonymous.

    The funny thing is, while one male and one female professor both really pushed me on the advanced degree thing, they are not succeeding there. But I think if my family members really pushed it, I'd be more likely to do it. Hmmmmm.

  4. Thanks to Carl for the reference to this blog education was influenced by

    1) My mother, who insisted on an education as an essential part of refining my mind and enriching my soul
    2) My father, who encouraged me repeatedly to obtain a Ph.D. because he saw potential. His confidence in me was a strength to me throughout grad school. He was just as happy that I settled (*wink*) on a clinical doctorate because he saw how happy I was in clinical practice.

    God bless my parents. And God bless my husband, who is proud of his educated wife and working hard to catch up. ;-)