School of Athen by Raphael

Selinde Krayenhoff: Liberal Studies

Alumna Focus

Selinde is a practitioner of Nonviolent Communication and gives workshops in parenting and spirituality. Here she reflects on her time in Liberal Studies.

"Returning to university at 52 was a huge step but well worth it. My two years in Liberal Studies was enormously enriching. Always an avid reader, I now find so much more to digest and enjoy.

"My confidence has increased. I am willing to read writers I used to avoid because I doubted my ability to understand. How this is playing out is that not only am I willing to read anything that piques my interest, but I’m also less defensive and curious when other people share their ideas. The world has become a much more interesting place.

"For much of my life I have been a listener. In seminar I found I could hardly stop talking. I wanted to articulate the ideas, intuitions and questions bubbling up inside me. I learned that it was OK to disagree, to propose something I hadn’t thought through fully, not to have the ‘one right answer.’ This experience was so freeing.

"I enjoyed the experience of being stretched, of reaching for new understandings that I could hardly articulate but were forming at the edges of my awareness. Even if I didn’t agree with a writer/thinker, I revelled in the experience of being called beyond my small world to consider new and different perspectives.

"I took Liberal Studies for important reasons: to become more educated, to increase my enjoyment in life and ease in learning, and to become a better citizen. I have no idea how my life will unfold but already my Liberal Studies education informs the Nonviolent Communication, parenting, and spirituality workshops, keynote addresses and courses I offer. I can be reached at"