A Long Road to Here

Hi.   My name is Roger Ridenour.   I’m an History Sec Ed major here at UAF.   I am working towards my certification with the goal of being a long term sub or even a full time teacher and working on my farm in the summer.   I grew up in Pennsylvania on a farm and now own one in North Pole where I grow things and have my own space.   I have a family with 4 grown children, which I love very much and wish they were all here right now. (Christmas is coming) I enjoy fixing things.   I enjoy outside activities of all kinds especially a good fire for cooking and good company.   I also enjoy music which I studied and performed professionally for more than 40 years.   I was a soldier in the US Army where I played and taught music for 20 years following in the footsteps of my grandfathers clear back to the 17th century. (did I mention I like history)   I love my country and consider all Americans to be special people.

School was never my forte as a teenager.   I had other interests none of which included books or being inside.   I had two good teachers in HS.   That was not enough to convince me teachers were good, caring people.   Most of my teachers openly shared their frustration with me in front of the class.   Forgive me if I seem bitter but looking back on it, that was and still is unacceptable.   In spite of them, I did anything the “2’ asked of me.   I enjoyed their classes (history, physics/chemistry) and even though I finished HS with a 1.6 GPA, I got As with them.   No one believed college was for me but my physics teacher told my parents they should send me because my grades were more of a reflection on my teachers than my intellectual ability.

I really don’t like to see young people squander their youth.   School is a great place to find peace when the rest of life isn’t going that great.   My end focus in education is pointed towards those who struggle with school like I did.   My military background is unique among teachers. My work with the Salvation Army in inner-city youth programs is unique among white people.   Growing up in the country is very unique among city-dwellers.   Because of these experiences and my love for family I think I am uniquely qualified to teach at Eielson or in a village in Alaska.

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