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Ex Fabula: Extra Lessons

Carolina Mulvey-Videla
Storyteller Shawn Mitchell

Throughout Milwaukee, college students are putting on their caps and gowns this weekend as graduation ceremonies descend upon the city. It’s a time of revelry and reflection. What have you learned? What surprised you? How have you changed? Sometimes the most valuable lessons had nothing to do with the classroom.

With that in mind, this week we’re sharing stories of the extra lessons our storytellers learned while working towards their degrees.

In 2016 Esme Barniskis’ UWM Service Learning Project included working with community members to buy foreclosures and help them remodel these into dream homes. With this, Esme’ had to visit several foreclosed homes including once specific immediate removal (eviction). Walking into the house, Esme’ walked into what was left of someone’s life - including an upright piano. Listen in to discover how that piano taught Esme’ more than she ever anticipated.

When Navy Veteran Shawn Mitchell decided it was time to make a change and go back to school in 2001 he chose to pursue a degree in Computer Networking, a highly lucrative field. Computer Networking was also a very complicated subject and the intro class was essential to success. However, on the first day of class, Shawn and his classmates found themselves struggling to understand their highly knowledgeable professor’s foreign accent. So what would he do? You’ll have to listen to learn:

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