Both Jim and Mariann graduated in Spring 2016 and had the exactly the same grade (an average of 77% for all their courses). Jim says he even got a job out the program. After their graduation was publicized, Jim received a call that eventually led to a new job—Pastor of the Albert Mines Baptist Church.
“Old Dog, New Tricks” was a classroom assignment by Jim Rae. See what he wrote below:
Eventually, I got over it and forgot what Dad had done and grew accustomed to the working world. Actually, it wasn’t very long before I was married myself and raising a family. As the years progressed, my wife, Mariann, and I were able raise eight children. Some hung in for higher education: most moved on into the labour force as I had done.
Really good jobs always eluded me. More education might have helped, I don’t really know.
Now, the house is quiet. Peace and tranquility reign, but not for long. Soon, Mariann decides she wants to go back and finish high school. She thinks I should, too. At first, I balk at the idea. In 67 years I have had a lifetime of “education” out in the real world. Why should I go back to high school now?
A year later, I did show up, hat in hand, asking to be given a chance to pick up my lost high school years at the little Riverside-Albert Adult Education facility where Mariann was attending. I was pleased to learn my EI would be extended to help me do this.
Full of sweetness and smiles, Eleanor Mollins, our teacher, welcomed me and got me tested and busy at my lessons. The school was a small room located in the basement of the local wellness clinic. “Miss Ellie,” as I called her, was a wealth of information as I wrestled with those awkwardly elusive subjects: science, social studies and algebra.
For ten weeks I applied myself diligently, including doing other subjects and homework, and I truly struggled with “ratios” and “quadratic equations.” Finally, it was exam time. Here, I was in for a bit of a shock. When in high school more than fifty years ago, everything was cursive and you had to be able to spell. Now, all we do is shade in some small circles on computer paper that will apparently deliver up the information needed to analyze and decided whether we’ve learned anything or not. As I write this, I’m still waiting for my results to come through.
But, you know, it really doesn’t matter how high my marks turn out. I thoroughly enjoyed going back to school, making new friends, and gaining a better understanding of the world around me. I expect my GED diploma will help me stay in the working world a little longer. For that I will always be grateful. Besides, Mariann and I will be the first senior couple to graduate from “Miss Ellie’s” school! Perhaps you can teach an old dog new tricks.
The adult learning program is a partnership between the Albert County Health & Wellness Centre (which provides the classroom) and the South East Regional Adult Learning Board. To learn more or enroll in the program, you can visit www.OpenDoorsGED.ca or call 882-1010. The program is open to anyone over 18 and is free for most students.