“My father was a very old-fashioned man who didn’t believe that women needed a higher education—after high school we had to go out and get a job. When I graduated high school (Commercial High School), I wanted to go to university. My father was interested only in any education that would provide me with workplace skills. “You can only go to Macdonald College so you could get a job as a teacher.” But I didn’t want to be a teacher; not then. So I got a job as a bookkeeper in a lingerie factory, enrolled at Sir George Williams College and worked for a couple of summers to pay for my university tuition.
I was always a very independent, self-sustaining person so working to support something that I wanted was no hardship for me. That’s been my mantra—to be able to sustain myself. I was married very young, so I left school and I had my kids. Once my youngest child was in school I went back to university to finish my Bachelor’s degree and then I went onto a Master’s degree. I had to do it all very, very slowly because I was raising three kids, two homes and a husband who was away on business most of the time. I finished a Master’s degree in Educational Technology, which gave me a path into my final profession: a professor at Concordia University, specifically directing and teaching the degree programs in Adult Education.
All my life, I have purposefully learned how to do, what I have to do, in order to get on in life, to solve problems, to move ahead. Whether it’s a question of fixing the plumbing or the electrical work or managing a budget, I expect myself to figure it out. And most of the time, I do. You can accomplish much more of what you want to accomplish when you have faith in yourself.”