Argosy University Blog

Grandma in the Lion’s Den

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Written by Dr. Martin C. Wesley

I am currently reading a book by renowned author and Harvard psychology professor, Dr. Stephen Pinker entitled Enlightenment Now: A Case for Reason, Science, Humanism and Progress. This book is a follow-up to his groundbreaking The Better Angels of our Nature, where he shows that our assumptions of the world is falling apart or going to “hell in a handbasket” are all wrong. Instead he shows that we are truly living is the best of times and that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge and happiness are all on the rise.

We all have a tendency of viewing our present circumstances, the current politics, cultural values and more as devolving instead of taking us to better times, to peace and toward values where all people are loved and valued. We look at the future with fear and anxiety and long for the good ole days, which often were not so good.

This reminds me of my grandmother. Her name was Doreen and her maiden name was Martin. I was named after her family. When I was growing up in Arizona, my grandparents would often come to visit. They would bring their camper which was so large, I wondered how their truck didn’t tip over with any gust of wind. When I was about eight or nine years old, they took me and my brother to the Phoenix Zoo. I believe my mom was there with us and my baby sister who was in her stroller. We walked through half of the park and came to the lion and tiger exhibits. Most of the time these zoo animals rarely give you a good show. Often, animals are hiding or sleeping but not today. Today the large male lion was making some noise and roaring at the crowd. My grandma pulled out her Kodak instamatic camera and with limited vision, started moving closer to the lion exhibit. What she didn’t see was that she was walking toward a sloped flower and shrubbery bed that was faced with raised railroad ties. Grandma tripped on these ties and fell straight down into this lowered shrubbery bed beside the lion’s area. Grandma was now head first, wearing a dress and her legs lifted in the air. All the while, the lion becomes louder and louder with his roars and grandma is screaming, thinking she just fell in the lion’s den and she is now on the menu. My grandpa was trying to help my grandma up, but also trying to keep her dress closed as that was probably worse for grandma that being eaten alive by the lion.

Soon, with the help of some other zoo patrons, my grandmother was lifted out of the bed. She was disoriented and scratched up from the shrubs but soon saw that her fear of being a lion burger was unfounded. Later, she could see the humor in the confrontation with the lion and would laugh at the incident. I should also mention that grandma got a great picture of the lion before she went down!

We all have a tendency to believe that we are falling into the lion’s den. Often, we are also in the midst of true oppression or distress, experiencing the loss of a loved one or have been experiencing failing health. Yet, there is hope and often opportunities exist to overcome and become stronger. I became a licensed professional counselor and a professor because I love lifting people up and guiding them out of their own lion’s den. I love helping people out of addiction, family dysfunction or out of feelings of depression because they see no hope for the future. If you are like me and want to help people out of their own lion’s den, please reach out to me or others at Argosy University who can help you in your next adventure.


Dr. Martin C. Wesley is a Licensed Professional Counselor and the Associate Chair of the College of Counseling, Psychology and Social Sciences in Florida at Argosy University, Sarasota and Argosy University, Tampa. Feel free to reach out to Dr. Wesley at mcwesley@argosy.edu. ###

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Earning an Advanced Degree in your 30s, 40s, or even 50s—Tales of a Non-Traditional Student

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There are many reasons the people return to school after years in the workforce. They may be looking to move up in their career, want a change of direction, or want to show their own children that it’s possible to balance work, life, and continuing education.

Going back to school to earn an advanced degree was always in the back of Bahareh Sahebi’s mind. Sahebi is currently a student working toward a Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology at Illinois School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University | Schaumburg. She had a genuine interest in psychology and even earned undergraduate degrees in sociology and psychology. But once she completed her four-year degrees, she entered the working world as a corporate business analyst and project manager.

After years in the business world, she decided to follow her passion for psychology. She went back to school as a non-traditional student and completed a master’s degree. Sahebi continued into Argosy University’s Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology program.

As an older student, the transition was initially difficult—but she quickly found her place thanks to the school’s supportive faculty who helped her to re-adjust to academic life. “One of my biggest challenges throughout graduate school was to find my own place as a student transitioning from a non-traditional academic background and also changing careers,” she said. “One thing I appreciated about the program was the diversity in the student population’s age and previous career backgrounds.”

Sahebi added that she was grateful for faculty members who took the time to get to know her—and other non-traditional students in her class. “The instructors provided opportunities to help me bridge my skills from a previous career into competencies within the program that ultimately helped to enrich my overall experience as both a graduate student and a launching professional,” she said.

Today, Sahebi is working in a two-year residency program as a postdoctoral clinical scholar fellow at The Family Institute at Northwestern University. She works with individuals, families, and couples in a clinical setting. And she encourages others in her position to step outside of their comfort zones—whether it means pursuing a degree as a non-traditional college student or finding the courage to overcome a fear of public speaking. “Ask for feedback and take advantage of the many resources at Argosy University, including tutors to help you refine skills,” she mentioned.

Going back to school after a career in any industry can feel intimidating. But the support non-traditional students receive at Argosy University help them to transition back into the classroom and prepare for a new career. Learn how you can return to school to fulfill your career goals by contacting an admissions representative at Argosy University. You may also take an online classroom tour and see the many program options available in undergraduate, graduate, and doctorate programs.


See ge.argosy.edu/programoffering/797 for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info .

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Navigating Education and Elder Care | A Personal Journal Entry

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Glory be, I've made it through another 70 hour work week.

You might be wondering what causes me to accumulate so many weekly work hours. That's easy to answer, I have two jobs. I currently work forty hours a week as a legal investigator for the City of Chicago. Once I'm finished there, I come home and begin my role as an informal care giver to my 74 year old mother. She suffers from Alzheimer's disease and requires 24-hour care. My weekdays begin at 4:30am and can continue through till 10pm. Although the hours can be physically and emotionally draining, it is the evening gig that offers the most rewarding experience. Luckily so, since informal caregivers receive no compensation for their efforts.

It was several years after Mom suffered her debilitating stoke that I decided to return to school to obtain my graduate degrees. I knew no matter what occurred regarding my mom's health she'd want me to pursue my educational goal. My mom had been a nurse and worked diligently to provide for my sister and me. She always instilled in us the importance of education and encouraged us to attain our personal best. I believe that I inherited my tenacious spirit from her. I received my Master's degree in 2011, and although I was fifty, decided to proceed towards a doctorate degree.

Fortunately, I chose a university that offered a rigorous program with engaging students, supportive staffers and dedicated faculty. This combination allowed me and fellow colleagues to achieve our educational pursuits. Unfortunately, my mom made her transition before I graduated. Yet, I know she is eternally happy that I pursued my dream and obtained my doctoral degree . I am also grateful that Argosy University helped me turn an aspiration into actuality.

Note: Debra earned her Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership in 2017!

Written by Dr. Debra Gavin Ware EdD

Dr. Gavin Ware is an adjunct instructor at Argosy University, Chicago .

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