LETTER:Get an education

I graduated with 50 classmates from a rural high school amid the mountains and river valleys of northeast Washington.

Though small, it offered a variety of classes, practical and academic.

We enjoyed sports, band, art, assemblies, dances, clubs.

My classmates were distinctive.

Some remained in the area after graduation, while others couldn’t get out of there fast enough.

Two best friends, impregnated at 14 and 16, dropped out of school and married.

Boys, drafted into the Vietnam War.

A friend died there.

College promised me adventure and opportunity.

Admittedly, that initial year caused culture shock.

I soaked up sociology, science fiction, business marketing, history, dorm life, a summer cooking and studying at a remote environmental field station.

I joined the campus Women’s Liberation movement.

When I became an anti-war protester, my Dad said he never should have sent me to college.

He served in WWII.

College posed unforeseen challenges, but with no hyperbole intended, it saved my life by offering many career options instead of being stuck in rigorously defined gender and religious roles.

After obtaining my first big job and a shiny new Datsun pickup, my parents eased up.

Still learning each day, I relish knowing stuff. I’m not frightened of ideas.

We humans, no matter how wealthy, prestigious, powerful, educated, or persuasive, can’t and don’t know everything.

Confidence and skills gained through college heralded a way to honor and expand myself.

If possible, go to college.

Gayle Brauner

Port Angeles

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