01 November 2016

November Is Here

Hello and Happy November!  This is a busy month for us - lots of family birthdays, anniversaries, and of course - Thanksgiving!!!!

Today for instance, is my sister Nancy's birthday.  I won't see her, since she lives in California, but I talked to her over the weekend and sent her a Facebook message today (sadly, I did not have my act together in time to actually send her a card.  I may be the only one who minds).  She is excited because she is accompanying my brother-in-law on his business trip to Orlando, Florida.  While he does his work thing, she is going to spend a couple of days catching up with a close friend who lives there.  So it's pretty certain she's going to have a good birthday week.

Of course, we are also at the official start of NaBloPoMo  We'll see how I do this year - last year I did manage to complete the challenge for the entire month.  I already have a short list of things I want to write about, so that's something to help me get started.

And it's the second day of Gratitude Week.  Today we were prompted to write about gratitude for something in the past.  I gave this some thought, because there is a lot to choose from, but I decided that I am grateful for my education.  Our family was poor - I mean actually poor, where we sometimes were living with relatives, barely had Christmas (though we always had something and it was wonderful!), etc.  But my parents valued education, and though they never went beyond high school as far as formal education, they were the type who were so interested in so many different things and so well-read that they could hold their own among those with many more years of schooling.  When it came time for each of us to go to college, we were fortunate to be able to get scholarships and loans, and go to the schools we wanted to attend.  Of all of our first cousins - who were from families doing much better financially - my sisters and I were the only ones to attend college.  This was a source of true pride to my parents.

Elementary school was up and down for me, depending where we lived.  We moved around a lot, and sometimes I would start at a new school and be ahead of the rest of the kids in my class, and it would be really boring for me.  I hated high school, though I got good grades.  But wow did I hate it.  The cliques, the social crap, and classmates who seemed so much younger to me that they were barely interesting.

But when I got to college, it started to work well for me.  I attended a small, liberal arts college run by Jesuit priests.  From the first day of the first class, I remember that what was emphasized was that we learned to *think.*  At first, this made no sense to me - didn't I already know how to think?  Didn't everyone?  Of course, what they meant was that they wanted us to develop our critical thinking skills, because that would be what would make us able to be successful in the world.

The older I get, the more grateful I am for this opportunity.


Lydia said...

Happy November-here in Georgia we're still hitting the 80s so it doesn't feel like November at all.

Anonymous said...

I hope your sister has a good time in Orlando AND that she had a very happy birthday!

It seems like our education system these days is just memorize and parrot back. Critical thinking skills are in short supply.

Judy S. said...

Enjoyed your post, Bridget! Happy All Saints Day!

Wanderingcatstudio said...

I like the way you described you parents... that's like my Dad. Never graduated high school, but he's the smartest person I know. Never stops reading and learning, even though he's never made it formal.

He too, pushed my brother and I to get educated and do better. Like you, I was not fond of school (for the same reasons) but I always love learning - and I thank my father for that.

Araignee said...

Happy NaBloPoMo! You are off to a good start. I really enjoyed the post.

Kym said...

You were rich, indeed, to have a family that instilled such strong values and a solid work ethic! Lucky you! (Financial riches don't guarantee a thing.) XO

AsKatKnits said...

Happy NaBloPoMo! What a great post - and yes, stop and think is something that is better with age! :)

Nance said...

I think there is so much to be said for Lifelong Learning. Formal degrees and education are important, yes, and I am proud of mine, but continuing to learn and challenge oneself is the hallmark of a truly intelligent person.

Best example? President Abraham Lincoln, who was an avid self-study his entire life and never attended any formal school past his incomplete grammar school education.

Lorraine said...

Bridget- Happy November.

I think the smart people in the world are those who are open to learning, whatever age. But good for you for going to higher education and finishing.

Bonny said...

Your parents' valuing education and the hard work that you and your siblings put in to get scholarships is truly something to be proud of. I'm with you on high school being an awful waste of time. And those critical thinking skills? SO important!