I am a 26 year old Fine Arts student at Chester College.
I have been attending since Spring Semester 2009. I am only one semester away from graduating.
It’s been almost 9 years since I finished High School- 9 years since I set out on my journey to reach my goal. It has far from easy… I had to start and stop school whenever I ran out of money or whenever I couldn’t fit a class around a work schedule. But I have always known what I want to do. It had always seemed so simple.
I knew I wanted to be an art teacher. I knew I wanted to study art and everything that went along with it. I knew I wanted to draw and paint all day. I knew I wanted to talk about art all day. I thought about how lucky I would consider myself to be if I could get paid to talk about art all day! I decided I wanted to be an art teacher around age 10. Again, simple, it just sounded like the coolest (and rewarding) job to me.
At Chester College, I am a student, but someday, I hope to be a teacher doing as amazing a job as the teachers at Chester College do. I have witnessed great things and understand my goal more clearly than ever. I have tremendous respect for all the teachers here. They might not have noticed this, but I have been paying attention to everything in class, from how they conduct the class, to mastering the lesson being taught, from admiring syllabus and lesson plans to remembering the best methods on how to teach others. I love telling my non-Chester College friends all about the incredible things I am learning. My non-Chester College friends are usually amazed. And all of us at Chester College know why they are usually amazed.
We have the greatest community here. The teachers and the students all care about each other’s works and offer the most constructive critiques. Another reason that I want to be an art teacher is to be able to give my students the highest quality of education I can. The teachers at Chester College do just that. This college sometimes feels more like a dream than a small liberal arts college. To anyone who ever wanted to explore and express ideas individually their own, Chester College is the perfect place to do so. And everybody wants to see each other succeed and reach their highest potential. However, it has always disgusted me how money is the deciding factor in regards to the quantity of education one can reach. It has always broken my heart that a person’s potential has to apparently be purchased these days. If Chester College were to permanently close, students will have lost a great college that was affordable, flexible with payment plans and located in its own sweet community.
In fact, this sad could-be future holds a sensitive space in my heart. Like I said, I have only one semester left until I graduate, but must finish my senior show before I can officially graduate. The theme for my senior show is eerily similar to the current situation. I was inspired by items people had thrown away. On the side of the road, in a swamp, in the woods, didn’t matter as long as they were clearly trashed. My oil paintings are to focus on the idea of purpose and the discarded items convey a sense of purposelessness and void. These paintings are sometimes described as pensive and melancholy. My ultimate goal with these is to get people to think more about their own purpose in life. It is killing me inside to think that the very College I have been supported at and have grown so in love with could meet the same fate as the discarded items in my paintings.
I still hope to graduate from Chester College and then attend grad school. I still hope to reach my ultimate goal and look back at my times in Chester with the most appreciation and love for all the lessons learned and memories made.
Chester College is where the future writers, artists and leaders of our society are studying. This is where a person can truly find themselves. The world needs more places like this.
Chester College offers such a unique experience that if anyone ever says “Chester College of the woods?” We can say, “Chester College, the gem of the woods”. And this gem has a voice.