Lifestyles

September 25, 2011
 

A Nontraditional Student

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Written by: Tapia - Gonzales
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UTB

UTB- View from Student Union Patio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I recently rejoined the student body of the University of Texas- Texas Southmost College at Brownsville, Texas, and it has been an experience beyond any great expectation.  Getting used to being called “mam” at all times, and reaping all the benefits of being a “nontraditional student”, thanks to the reputation established by my predecessors, is already on the top 10 best times of my life list.

Why is it that some Valley families act or speak as if staying in the Valley to attend college is considered a failure? Sometimes even a disappointment? I can tell you right now, it is one of the best things our young kids can experience while preparing for the professional world. Not only do they have a first class education, they also save money that will enable them to continue their education in state or out of state colleges/universities if they so desire.

The UTB Campus is so beautiful; it is surrounded by wildlife that thrives in the area’s natural wetlands or Resacas, as we know them here in the Valley. Campus buildings are nice, very clean and comfortable; students have all the necessary resources to succeed such as tutoring, counseling, guidance for a healthy lifestyle, state of the art equipment, professional and polite staff and so much more. There are even mandatory courses on how to succeed in college!

Walking around the historical buildings that were once part of the Fort Brown and the scene of many important historical milestones, reminds me that in 1915 two signal corps officers took off in a small airplane from the Fort Brown cavalry drill field to spy on the movements of Mexicans allied with the revolutionary Pancho Villa, and also reminds me of the discovery of a cure for the dreaded yellow fever in 1867. These events are an invitation to reflect on the Valley’s contributions to American history, and open our minds to a world of possibilities for change and the future of this country.

There is one piece of information that literally blows my mind; the fact that only 16% of students graduate is unacceptable. I have made a commitment to research and find out why this is happening when all the resources are available. I have asked several members of the University staff and some attribute it to low income, to students holding several jobs while attending college, and raising a family. These statements might hold some truth but I believe there is more to blame for this unfortunate circumstance. I promised myself that I will find out, and I promise to write all about it while I pursue a degree in Fine Arts.

If anyone can provide some insight about this, please do, it is very important in order to help our students succeed.

Exerts for this article were taken from http://www.cr.nps.gov, a great site to read more about the important history of the Fort Brown located in the grounds of the UTB – TSC Campus in Brownsville, Texas.

To see more photographs of UTB-TSC Campus like the one featured on this article, please visit http://www.utb.edu/Pages/UTBPhotoGallery.aspx?g=Institutional&id=76

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About the Author

Tapia - Gonzales
La Vida Valle is where I write about "la vida" living in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Life, art and culture, poetry, prayers, travel, and camping! yes, that's my new thing. I blame the heat and high humidity for the madness. Contributions and comments are always welcome .



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