Sunday, June 21, 2009

Things my father taught me...

Just as Mom taught me far more than the 5 things I listed on Mother's Day, Dad taught me an awful lot, but for expediency here's my top 5:

1. Never be afraid to try anything just for fun. Dad dabbled -- guitar and banjo lessons in his 50s, even took a course in charcoal sketching. With varying degrees of proficiency, to be sure. But always willing to try.

2. Knowledge is a blessing. You are as smart as you allow yourself to be. Dad knew what our potential was, and was only disappointed when we failed to recognize and capitalize on it ourselves. Some might say he pushed too hard. I appreciate the confidence he had in us.

3. You never know it all...there is always opportunity for learning. Dad never really stopped teaching and never stopped learning...often taking courses WAY outside his chosen field.

4. The mind can only absorb what the seat can endure. My students appreciate this to this day. Dad was an amazing educator. I took two classes from him (Calculus I and Statistics) and he was relentless. I don't think I ever had a teacher before or after who made the material live like he did. I'd be thrilled if I can be 1/2 the teacher that he was.

5. Love takes many forms. Love can be putting the bandaid on the booboo when you fall, but can also be checking in on you 10 times in the night after you've had a concussion, to make sure that you are really okay. Unheralded, unrecognized, but solid and everpresent.

I miss you, Dad. I miss your voice. I miss your hugs. I miss your wisdom. Every day. I love you.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

China!! What a wonderful vacation...met some great people, saw amazing things (bucket list: Great Wall and Qin dynasty terra cotta warriors), ate some yummy food. Everything a holiday should encompass. Terrific weather, good health. Can't ask for more.

Why do we (Americans) expect things to conform to our way? I know that Bush gets blamed for "the World's" opinion of Americans, but I can tell you from personal observations of Americans has far less to do with that one man's politics than with a whooooollllle bunch of American's leaving their nasty little trails of xenophobic behavior far and wide.

This last trip (China) was an exceptionally pleasant exception. We were in a group of 27 like-minded folk who were exploring another country/culture because we genuinely appreciate it. Huzzah! Restoreth my faith.

I guess that makes this a Whoa!