Thinking of my parents because of a good book

‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ was this month’s book club selection at work.  The meeting went well, but on a personal thought I’ve been putting meaning to the fact that this was my first reading of the classic at age 35. I thought it was great, and will read it at again in the future. So perhaps a book like this can be read at any age, but in our country a lot of students are assigned this in high school and college. Basically not reading this at a young age I feel lucky I would be interested to read it in my thirties, and I realize in some ways I need to thank my parents for being an educated person.

Throughout childhood I was a bad student. In middle school and my freshman year I simply didn’t try at school. My parents always tried to get me up to par, but I stubbornly despised school. When we moved to Toledo Ohio I was fortunate enough to go to one of the best prep schools in Toledo, Maumee Valley. My parents made the choice to try to get me an excellent education. I tried for the first time in school, but I was still a class clown. My mind was nowhere near being studious. I wanted to skate, party, and have multiple girlfriends.   Prior in my public school life I got straight C’s with putting no effort into it. At Maumee Valley I got straight C’s and slightly higher grades but with putting effort into it. I was not slaving away studying, but I least tried. Without realizing it, those three years from sophomore to senior year helped me enormously to learn how to study. But I was still not a stellar student by any means, and I even wonder I was thought to be college ready at that point.

My parents though considered college the only option. There were some situations at the time that made it an unclear choice. I’m sure other parents may have considered options like to work full time anywhere.  My first semester I almost flunked out and we did things a little differently but I went back the next semester.

My parents valued education, and believed I could do it. By the end of that freshman year I started to excel in my classes. In an introduction literature class, we read a Louise Erdrich story that was so different from my reading experience I decided I wanted to read more. So I became an English major with almost no background in literature. Some parents would not let their child choose an English major because it’s not a sure way to a job.  Also, I’m all for individual choice, but I think education should be emphasized by parents. So I’m glad that even though I had my challenges they kept me going in the right path. It’s nowhere near mother’s day or father’s day, but this has been on my mind.

I’ll finish that once I became a good student in college I never stopped. I did well in grad school, and in my career. I was a late bloomer. I’m proud of myself that I went from being a reluctant reader who may have had trouble reading ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ in my teens to being adult who can led a good book discussion on any book.


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