Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care, and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child with sensory processing disorder. Have fun!
Sunday, February 2, 2014
Go to school
Keep in mind that this is only her second year of school.
She was quite proud of herself.
She obviously does not take after her mother who, by the end of her 11th grade year had perfect attendance in high school. But after they announced to the whole student body the names of those who had such a record, and my name was one of only two in the 11th grade with such will-power and stamina and love of school (if only you could see my gagging face right now), I decided it was time for a change. I no longer wanted to be associated with George McDermott (name changed to protect his privacy) who was the other 11th grader with what can only be described as a highly active immune system coupled with some inner drive to wake up and crawl out of bed 180 days out of a year (really, what was I thinking?), and likely fueled by a mother whose parenting philosophy included the theory that if you weren't throwing up you were healthy enough to get your derriere out that door and if you had just vomited then obviously you've gotten it out of your system so get yourself cleaned up and get out that door, your ride is in the driveway!
Something changed that on that awards ceremony day. I suppose something snapped. I could blame it on the teachers; if only they had given me some cool award like the Ms. Menno Award for Meek Mennonite-ism in Phys. Ed., or the Becky Stutzman Home-Ecky Award for Perfect Seams and Delicious Execution of Grandmother's Pot Pie Recipe in Home Ec Class, I might have come out with more motivation to excel. But they gave me the award for perfect attendance. With George. And people laughed. So on that day I vowed that I would never face such humiliation again.
To be certain that I did not go to school for the full 180 days of my senior year, I would have to strategically plan. And plan I did. Lo and behold, my efforts payed off. Not only did I skip on senior skip day, but I also stayed home on another day just to be certain that there could be no mistaking - I was NOT to be awarded the honor of perfect attendance during all four years of high school.
But as we discussed this the other night around the dinner table, my children brought up a humbling thought; maybe, just maybe, if I had been the kind of student who aspired to be the best student attender (well, one of the best as there was still George to contend with), my life might have amounted to something. With that kind of motivation, consistency and persistence, I could have labored in a lab until finding the cure to the most deadly cancers. If I had been a student of ambition, steadfastness, and unflagging determination, I could have been the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize. If I had only been driven, enterprising, and relentless, I just might have been the first female in space.
Alas, it didn't come to be. All because I missed school during my senior year of high school. It is with sincere apologies to my mom for my lack of teenage ambition, commitment, and dedication. If I had only listened to her, stuck it out, stayed the course, and gotten my backside out that door every time she told me to do so, I might be somebody today.
So children of the world, here is my advice to you: Don't be like me and my daughter. Be like George McDermott (name changed to protect his privacy), wherever he is today. Get your whole self out of bed every morning of every school day, 180 days of the year, for four years.
Your Mama will be so proud.
And what, you ask, became of George McDermott (name changed to protect his privacy), school attender extraordinaire who did manage to get to school 720 days? Well, a quick google search tells me that he's either senior geologist in some governmental agency, on some humanitarian board, or the owner of a veterinary hospital. Of course he could also be the George McDermott (name changed to protect his privacy) in the police photo on google but that would go against every point I've trying to make so we'll assume that's the wrong guy; that man probably skipped school. Be like the real George, go to school.