It is 3:27 p.m. and I scramble to send my final emails of the day. The subway I need leaves at 3:29, giving me just enough time to make it to my 4:10 class. With every aspect of my schedule timed to the minute, having an internship while taking a full course load as a junior in college has had its crazed moments. I knew I’d be busy; but I hadn’t expected the commute that physically connects my school and work life to serve as space for me to metaphysically connect the two.
As I began to use my time on the train to make some headway in my assigned class reading, I started to realize some overlapping themes. It turns out my classes actually support each other’s learning. The history I was learning in Jazz prepared me to contextualize the cultural references in The Autobiography of Malcolm X for my African American Literature course; discussions about race in each of these classes in turn informed my reading of The Souls of Black Folk for Philosophy of Education. Throw in African Dance and a Vocal Repertoire class in which I’m preparing a jazzy Ella Fitzgerald song, and we’ve got ourselves an entertaining circle of coincidences.
Now, picture this tangled web of crossovers spinning through my mind as I make my daily trip to Scholastic Headquarters. I can’t help but think: how does Scholastic fit into all of this? Out of all my classes, Philosophy of Education relates most explicitly to my internship. In lecture, we’ve discussed the importance of learning in and outside of the classroom. Not only does Scholastic champion both sides of education, but my internship itself serves as an example of this combined formal and informal learning; I am thrown into a real work environment in which I am given support and guidance, but ultimately I am here to “learn on the job.” And even though I am not directly shaping the educational resources that Scholastic offers, I have a front row seat that exposes me to the genuine enthusiasm for these initiatives.
My recent awareness of these overlapping components really boils down to Scholastic’s Open a World of Possible message. Initially, I associated Scholastic with younger children and their growth, but the same principles apply beyond the younger demographic. Reading, and education more broadly, open new worlds.
As amusing as this semester’s connections are, I shouldn’t be so surprised. Education doesn’t exist in a vacuum. We should all be so lucky that our learning experiences interconnect and complement one another.
Considering this mentality, it is perfectly fitting that I had this epiphany while riding the subway, rather than in a classroom. Instead of acting as a mere means of transit from place to place, the subway served as a platform of its own: a space for unstructured learning.
The real takeaway? Opportunities for education are everywhere.
Even – or maybe especially – when your subway is running late.
-Tova Rohatiner, Corporate Communications intern