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This time of year, late December, my thoughts turn to one of my favorite Christmas characters, Hermey the Misfit Elf.

This blog post is dedicated to all of the online students out there who dream of being something MORE than what they are and find they are alone in their dreams.

I shall tell my story.

For every one of my degrees, I’m sad to say, I had no family support.  While working on my online Master’s Degree and discovering that I really liked working online, that I could imagine this being a career, I was working at a job that was…not for me, to put it mildly.  I was just like Hermey at the beginning of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

Hermey was an elf at the North Pole.  And he did not like to make toys.  Now this was a complete impossibility in the Workshop because all elves made toys!  But Hermey wanted to be a dentist.  He dreamed of it.  And on his breaks (and perhaps during work hours) he read his Dentistry book. He was fascinated by molars and bicuspids.  No one understood Hermey and he didn’t understand them.  Why can’t an elf be a dentist?

In a way, I was a elf who dreamed of being a dentist.  And indeed, I did suffer the scorns of my bosses and some coworkers and sadly, some family members.  I was told ‘what’s wrong with your job’ or you are too young to imagine bigger things for yourself and that college is too expensive.

But after 8 hours of work on a computer, I put my purse strap over my shoulder, walk down the steps of my workplace, and head home to 3 more hours of computer work at night.  Because I KNEW I could be something better.  I knew I had more to give to the world.

So Hermey– who saves the day don’t cha know in Rudolph— did get his dream.  And I achieved mine.

Most particularly, I write this post because my heart goes out to my students when their family does not support them.  Promises made way back at your Orientation to college seem to never materialize or disappear just as end of term approaches.  I do sympathize as I hear it in your voice or read it in your emails. However, I know you can be successful without family support– it is possible.  It does mean

  • suffering more heartaches,
  • saying no to family requests when you’d rather say yes,
  • tucking your college books in the car to read at  work lunch breaks,
  • and staying up late to do a task paper because  when you had energy earlier, you were doing the dishes and putting the kids to bed.

Success can still be yours. Keep working on your dream.  Join me with the Misfits.
We’re a couple of misfits
We’re a couple of misfits
What’s the matter with misfits
That’s where we fit in!

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