I love you, I do, but you’ve been a pain this week! You’re keeping me awake at night and your growing body seems to be having an impact on my hips. They ache!!! It’s not your fault, I know, I’m just a little sleep deprived at the moment.
This week I’ve been thinking a lot about education.
I’ll be brutally honest. Neither your Dad nor I were big fans of traditional schooling. Elementary, junior high and high school were filled with lots of angst. They’re bound to be, what with raging hormones, blossoming crushes and changing friendships. But our particular angst, in our own ways, was to do with the schoolwork itself.
I was never truly motivated by school. I’m not a textbook learner. I learn by doing, which is often hard to do in the traditional classroom setting. If you were to test me on basic subjects covered in junior high or high school today, I would fail miserably.
Part of the issue I had with school was with the focus on grades vs. learning. To a degree, I can understand why my Dad focused so much on grades. Grades are what get you into university, which is where my parents always assumed I should end up. Middle class kids go to university, right? In order to do that, you need decent grades in a variety of subjects, whether they appeal to you or not.
What I hated was the question, “what was the class average?” It didn’t matter if I came home with 94% on a test or a project, before any accolades came it was, “well, what was the class average?” There needed to be the comparison to see how much better I had or hadn’t done to my peers. It was demoralizing. At the end of the day, if I tried hard, I studied and I put in the time, did the class average matter? I don’t think so.
Learning should be encouraged at every point, not made to be a measuring stick of your success in life.
Here’s What I Want For You
I want you to have a thirst for learning. The subject is irrelevant. If you’re passionate about plumbing, fill your boots. If you want to break down a clock and figure out how it works, that’s awesome. If all you want in life is to experiment with cooking and baking, that’s cool too!
To your Dad and I, it doesn’t matter what floats your boat as long as you find something you’re passionate about and throw yourself into it headlong. We’ll help you as best we can, expose you to as many different experiences as we can in the hopes you’ll find your passion.
I want you to be curious. I want you to challenge what you’re taught, ask probing questions and wonder. Wonder is an incredibly powerful tool to learning.
Our hope is that you work hard. If you work your butt off and get 60% on a test, that’s awesome! You demonstrated to us that you have solid work ethic and that you can dedicate yourself to a task. The end result isn’t as important as the process, not to us. If you’re slacking and you get 60%, that’s where we’ll be a little disappointed. That’s where we’ll feel you’re not reaching your potential. Hard work will get you so much further in life and will open opportunities that you can’t yet imagine.
I’d like to think that you’ll take part in some kind of post-secondary. It doesn’t matter if it’s university, a diploma, a trade or a certificate, as long as it’s an extension of the thing you love. I also don’t want you to feel pressured to do this right after high school. Not everyone knows what they want to do right when they turn 18 and that’s completely fine. Just don’t expect free rent if you’re not working or studying!
I hope that you take time to travel. Travel is one of the best ways to learn that I’ve ever known. You learn history, culture, languages, life skills and so much more. It fills your mind and your heart for years. In my case, it helped me to figure out what I really cared about in life and the things I wanted to learn about more deeply.
All my love and best wishes for your life of learning,
- You are the size of an eggplant. An eggplant covered in elbows and knees which you’re flexing with regularity now!
- A sad thing happened this week. Someone Mommy knew and respected died in a tragic accident. I’m still processing it, but will likely be mentioning it more next week. You sent me little kicks as I cried and I knew you were trying to comfort me.
- I don’t have gestational diabetes. You have NO clue how excited I was for that news. Chocolate can stay, which is good news for mommy’s mental health.
- I do have low iron. This explains part of why I’m so darn tired these days. That and you working hard at night to wake me up.
- We’re stocking up. Babies need a lot of stuff! We’re definitely not going overboard, rather trying to get only what we need and to get it second hand. Our plan for clothes is to get both boys and girls clothes from Kijiji for the first three months. Whatever you end up being… we’ll keep both sets and see what Baby Number 2 ends up being. We even got a free stroller this week. Mommy knows some pretty generous people.