The Scamp and Vy Higginsen

It is not often that  I make it through an entire newscast. I find most of the news as of late depressing, and usually end up leaving the room or changing the channel. Tonight, I made it through an entire 15 minute segment, and I am really glad I did. Lately I have been searching for inspiration. I’m filling out applications and scholarship forms for the University of Edinburgh and after answering questions about my proposed research topic and why I want to complete my degree, I am afraid that I sound contrite and fake. I’m serious about my research topic, and I am serious about helping students, but for some reason, it just feels flat on a page. I wish I could just submit a video answering all of the questions. At least then the committee could enjoy my funny accent and see my passion for my students and for my research.

Tonight I watched a segment on 60 Minutes called Alive and Kickin’. While this may be considered a fluff for 60 Minutes, I immediately fell in love with the great Vy Higginsen and the work that she is doing.

I was lucky enough to find a link to the segment. It is worth the 15 minutes. I promise you will not be disappointed.

Alive and Kickin’

If Vy’s personality wasn’t enough to win me over, her message through Alive and Kickin’ would be. She believes that it is never too late to start again. That was enough of a reminder that even though I am two years late, applying to PhD programs in Scotland is a good idea.

In addition to Vy, I loved the merry band of seniors that she found for her show. I loved the woman who was so extremely proud of her sons for growing up and going to college. I loved the 75 year old man who not only battled alcoholism, but he went back to school when he was 50 to learn to read and write. He was by far my favorite because of his deep voice and his smile. I loved the married couple, it takes a strong woman to stay with a man who spent 40 years in and out of jail. I loved it when Vy took the seniors to meet her teenagers and teach them the value of gospel music. I wouldn’t mind having Vy Higginsen sitting next to me with her laugh and her positive energy while I suffer through another semester in the grad program. I think I would make it through every Tuesday class just fine if she was next to me.

I’m going to watch this video every time I start to lose focus of what I want to do with my teaching career. She is keeping a valuable tradition alive with today’s youth, and she is giving a voice to some pretty amazing people in Harlem. I hope that I am half as passionate about my work when I put all the yuck of the last year behind me.