Deborah Debi L. BentleyDeborah Debi L. Bentley
PCC 1974-1975; BSCTC 2006 to 2008; 2012 to present
Deborah Bentley, former PCC and current BSCTC student, is still pursuing her dream of getting a college degree. As a single mother, she felt she had no option but to put her education on hold while she worked full-time to pay bills and to raise her son. After semesters of absence, she enrolled in an evening Psychology 110 class while her son was enrolled in the day class. Making an A bolstered her confidence and she continued taking one class per semester until a major work project required traveling and training on a new computer system in 2008. She enrolled again in 2012 when the human resources business partners and recruiters were mandated to obtain a bachelors degree by 2014. Between 2010 and 2013, she dealt with a major illness, but has now resumed her educational pursuit. As she said, Im beginning to believe there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Debi plans to graduate no later than fall 2014 with an Associate in Applied Science in Business Administration - Management Option. She has dealt with numerous road blocks along the way but these challenges have only created a stronger, more determined person! And, as the reader will note throughout this article, her humor has always played a very important role in her dealing with potential barriers. For example, when asked what organizations she belonged to as an early PCC student, she laughed and said, I dont remember belonging to anything except the partying committee.
Debi admits she didnt know what she wanted to be when she grew up and is still not sure. She did say in her next life, she wants to be a professional ballplayer, preferably basketball and definitely not football! Debis life has been filled with choices, and she made what she felt were the best decisions for her at that time. As a secretarial student in 1975, as was true with most secretarial majors, First Commonwealth Bank offered her a full-time position. Since she said she liked money more than homework, she accepted the job. She worked in the loan department and was being considered for a tellers position, when Debi, who doesnt recall why, decided to resign. Eventually, she found her working niche. Our Lady of the Way (OLW) Hospital offered her a job, and she worked there a total of 32 and years. She said, I have so much knowledge inside my little brain about that facility that its hard to consider working at another healthcare facility. I believe I would constantly think this is how I did it at OLW (now SJM).
PCC had an effect on Debi. During this time, when she was transitioning from a teenager into an adult determined to break the apron ties from her mother, she made lifelong friends..plus, without knowing it, she was actually learning and developing characteristics that she proudly displays even today. PCC helped change me by teaching me how to be a responsible adult. Of course, I didnt realize this until years later, but no matter how many days a week I would go out on the town during the week, I was at my desk waiting to begin transcribing radiology reports at 7 a.m., Monday through Friday. Even though I didnt graduate, I learned how to conduct myself in job interviews, on the job and to be a perfectionist in my work.
The year I attended PCC after high school, I learned a lot about the working environment. I honed my typing skills and, at one time, could type 105 wpm with less than 3 errors. Unfortunately, arthritis has impeded my typing accuracy and speed, but I can still burn rubbernot on a typewriter, but a computer. In the mid-eighties, I was taking the civil service test in Frankfort. They used the old IBM electric typewriters. I typed faster than the typewriter and would have to wait for the carriage to move to the next line so I could start typing again. It was hilarious. And, I took a typing test at the unemployment office once and the lady administering the test came to see if I was finished; I told her that I had finished the article before the time was up, so I turned the paper over and typed it again. She said she had never had anyone type that fast. This was in 1992, and I was nervous because I hadnt been job seeking in 11 years and the nervousness caused more errors than normal.
Being a non-traditional student now, I am more focused and want to learn the subject that I am taking with the exception of science and math. And as only Debi can do, Ive put those classes off until the very last. I was enrolled in biology online, but OMG it was terrible. I could not learn what I couldnt even pronounce. Besides I dont need to know someones DNA or RNA or whatever to do the type of work that Ive always done. I dont need algebra either but I have to do it anyway! Those are my bah-humbug moments! PCC and BSCTC classes, then and now, have challenged me to do my best--to think, to analyze, to learn, and to make every encounter an opportunity toward reaching my goals.
When asked what she would tell high school seniors about choosing a college after graduation, Debi said, Our society today is technologically driven and requires an educated workforce. The cultural diversity of our nation has raised the bar for college students to work harder, achieve more, and set higher standards for themselves and others. As a non-traditional student, I encourage everyone to continue the learning cycle. Whatever obstacles, dont you become a college dropout statistic. I always said that I was going back to college and now, at 57, Im finally close to achieving that goal. So how old will I be when I finish a bachelors degree? God only knows for sure, but Im hoping a lot sooner than its taken to obtain the associate one. Remember Jimmy Valvanos mantra Dont give up! Dont ever give up! As for me, Im anticipating the last mile in this journey and looking forward to the many journeys to follow. In choosing a college, its a decision you must make yourself. What can you afford? Do you want to remain close to home? What career path are you planning? My advice is that if youre the least bit hesitate about leaving home, you can achieve an excellent education at one of the Kentucky Community and Technical Colleges located throughout Kentucky. Another alternative is to enroll in online classes. When I went back to college after 32 years, I enrolled in an evening class because I wanted to ensure I could manage attending classes and doing the homework, working a full time job, and being a full-time parent. After successfully passing the class, I enrolled in online classes which I have continued. If you choose this route, make sure that you can discipline yourself because online classes require lots of reading, lots of homework and lots of learning on your own. If you dont learn to discipline yourself, you may not be successful in your studies.
To learn more about Debis college adventure, please email her at email@example.com.