Day 5 060706

Day 5 of my parents’ visit

(I haven’t been telling you everyone who was there each day because I jotted things down on 3×5 cards as they were happening so I could remember to blog about them later. I didn’t spend a lot of time on the computer this last week. You hear a lot more about my dad because he did a lot of the talking while mom just sat there listening and nodding off. She has been very, very tired.)

Abigail’s report card came. All A’s and one A minus. She was dwelling on the A- and the fact that it brought her down from a 4.0 to a 3.9764 avg. Tough break. We’ve never pressured her to get all A’s, it is her ideal. I have always tried to teach her and the others to do their best, however. If you know, in your heart of hearts that you did your very best work on a thing, that’s all anyone can expect from you. You are the only one who knows if you did your best or not, though.

I told my mom and read her what it said on the bottom, “Abigail is 5 out of 275 in her class.”

“Oh my goodness! That’s wonderful, Abby!”

“Oh yes,” My dad, “That’s a very good report card. I always hated to get my report card. Every time it was report card time I wanted to stuff a pillow in my pants.”

“Why Grandpa?”

“I didn’t get very good grades when I was in school and the teacher would write nasty remarks on it. I got a 75 in deportment [they were graded on behavior, can you imagine?] and she wrote on there, ‘Sometimes rude and discourteous.’ Oh did I ever get a lickin’ for that one. We used to take toy guns to school and play cops and robbers. Well, the teacher didn’t like that so she took them away. So, we used sticks and we played cops and robbers. She took them away, so we used our fingers. She couldn’t take them away. I guess she didn’t like that.”

“You know,” My dad said, “It sounds like maybe she missed one question or something, maybe she forgot the answer or sometimes they ask you stuff you didn’t even study, so that’s a very, very good grade. You know girls, education is important. They give the good jobs to the people that are educated. I only got an 8th grade education. We lived 9 miles from the high school and they didn’t have bus service in those days, so my dad would have had to leave the work on the farm, drive 9 miles to town and 9 miles back, twice a day. That was 18 miles and a lot of time away from the farm in one trip. We had to go in a old ‘Model A Ford’ and it didn’t go too fast, so I never got to go to school, but it’s important. I got tired of other guys getting all the good jobs so I went to school at night while Herbie was little. I went to the “American School” and got myself up to a tenth grade level so I could get a little better jobs then and when I worked for Cutler & Hammer I would take all of the classes they had about electricity so I could get a little better work.”

I showed him a couple of his old textbooks I had saved. He remembered them quite clearly. No, you won’t see them on an online auction. They’re mine.

“My dad,” he continued, “Only had a 4th grade education, but he could do math. You better not try to cheat him on something involving mathematics because he’d catch ya. When he went to school [Dad doesn’t know much about where his father grew up or anything] his mother would load the rifle for him in the morning because there were bears and other animals in the woods and when he got to school the teacher would unload it for him.

He was good at mathematics, though and got a job in a machine shop. He learned how to run all six of the machines and never had to get sent home because there wasn’t enough work. He could do that because he had such a good mind for math so he never lost too much work.”

“So girls,” He was speaking to both Abigail and Tabitha. Tabitha’s homeschool curriculum requires she maintain a certain grade percentage or she has to redo the work, so it’s measured differently. She is a completely different person from her sister in some ways and exactly like her in others. “The more education you can get, the better off you are. I went for one job and the woman told me she could tell I had gone back to school and got beyond an 8th grade education. ‘I would say,’ she told me, ‘you have about a tenth grade education now.’ She was right. You girls stick to your schooling.”

Remember, The Good Book says, “A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels…”

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