Meanwhile, my education was entirely different from that of my daughter's.
My father, Arthur Raymond, Ph.D., founded the creative writing school at San Francisco State University.
This was back in the day when creative writing was considered a cousin to basket weaving.
Today, it's HUGE bucks at any college.
Teachers/professors are never paid what they are worth (but, Hi! Got an illiterate jock we can pay several million each time they sneeze?).
Dad chose sabbaticals abroad over noble poverty, and our family's standard of life was tripled. My earliest education came from Damascus, Syria and Beirut, Lebanon.
Given the war-torn situation in today's Middle East, it is unlikely I can ever "Go home," to re-visit aspects of my childhood. Yet I am so very grateful for the education I received there — with texts and without.
Without: We lied through our teeth about the Belgian family hiding in one of our bathrooms when the Arab gestapo banged on our door.
"Um, we don't know; um, we're tired; um, could you come back another time?"
Bless the gals who served us and were the first line of defense in pretending stupid.
Do your kids lay on their stomachs to avoid the bullets whizzing overhead until noon (when military quiet was declared so that those in uniform could have their lunch?)
Nope, we have been so much more fortunate in the USA than the rest of the world. While living in Damascus, cous d'etat were a norm of life.
A different education, indeed. Here is what I learned:
A) WE ARE ONE PEOPLE
Personal experience and scientific data regarding genetics bear me out on this.
The feminist in me adds that there is far too much testosterone globally active today (you guys are so cute when you build highways and bridges, but please cut it out with the guns and bombs).
B) KINDNESS and POETRY
My heartfelt gratitude to one of my first teachers, Ms. Sayiz, at the School for U.S. Embassy Children in Damascus. Very few of us were actually Yankees (most students originated from Pakistan, India and Syria).
We were taught a multitude of subjects considered archaic today, such as civics, geography, penmanship and … poetry from a 1930s book, "Silver Pennies." I don't recall the civics or geography lessons (today's globe has us all challenged, yes?) but can still recite excerpts from "Silver Pennies:"
"I Meant to Do My Work Today … "
*Poem by Richard Le Gallienne