Compiling past learning experiences, requesting official transcripts, completing the application process, and receiving the letter of acceptance brought great excitement and anticipation but with it anxiety. Returning to college to complete a degree in my later age is significantly more challenging than acquiring my education earlier in life; however, it is unfinished business long overdue. This is an important investment and decision that impacts my family and me. I identified with the challenges and transformation portrayed in the 1983 movie Educating Rita, Rita is a 26-year-old working class hairdresser with a longtime burning desire to improve her social status, discover herself, and empower her life options through education.
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Rita states, “I’m unable to talk to the people I live with anymore or to the likes of them at your house.” “Developmental teachers encourage the learner to express their negative feelings and allow them some leeway in terms of behaviour [sic].” (Brundage and MacKeracher, 1981). Prof Frank demonstrates his effort to reduce stress by accommodating Rita’s expressed sense of not fitting in. Although Prof Frank supports Rita’s desire and enthusiasm to become educated, he addresses her with concern that her quest for education may compromise her uniqueness. Prof Frank states, “What does it profit a man if he gaineth the whole of literature and loseth his soul?” Rita’s gained confidence is awkward and cocky with her abrupt statement to Prof Frank, “What you can’t bear is that I’m educated now! I can do it without you.” Prof Frank’s responds to Rita’s misdirected independence, “Have you found a better song to sing? No, you found a different song to sing. On your lips, it is shrill, hollow, and tuneless.” At this stage of independence and defiance Rita is unappreciative of Prof Frank’s wisdom and insight.
Proactive Stage. Determined and focused to overcome her obstacles, Rita matures into a confident and functional learner. Her assignments are comparable to her scholarly classmates. Rita gains respect of instructors and