Hi all! It was a really nice weekend. Got some stuff done Saturday. Binged through several episodes of Bones with my best girl. Then Sunday we celebrated my bride a little in the morning and the evening (I got her flowers and a cute ceramic birdbath), sandwiched around a trip to see mom through the window at the nursing home and a call for sound…See pix at the bottom of the page. It was a fun “visit” and we will keep trying that method, here and there. 🙂
Graduation week is here. Congratulations Class of 2020! My son “graduates” from high school this week. Uhhh…errrr….better said, he finishes his classes this week. There will be some form of graduation ceremony in late June, hopefully, depending on the COVID-19 mess. His school has done their best to honor the struggles of my son’s graduating class in several ways. They have hung banners all over town depicting the students. The school typically lets the kids custom paint a brick in the hallway with advice and humor for the next year to see, but this class got a special place and will get to remain longer before painting over them. There are social media tributes, “meetings” at the sports fields, and other things to honor their achievements. While it hasn’t always been easy for my son in school, he has overcame and done well, and I couldn’t be prouder of him.
Flashback around 30 years ago, give or take, to my graduation day. Things were different. Half of today’s pop and movie stars either weren’t born or were just starting to play with their Cabbage Patch Dolls and Stompers. Saturday mornings were still spent watching cartoons by most of us, although by our senior year fewer would admit it. President Bush had just taken over for President Reagan, slowly but surely unraveling the previous 8 conservative years. And I graduated.
Graduation, in our family, was a social event, I suppose. It was assumed that we would graduate, but our career paths weren’t as defined as most are now. It was not a given that everyone would go to college although many did. Many others went into a trade school/apprenticeship, and others just went to work. Most of us had already worked in school, so it wasn’t a stretch to consider staying with our employers since we already had some experience/seniority.
They were different times…and, to me, somewhat more logical times. It is assumed that everyone, whether they are “school types” or not, should go to college now. My son’s school is a leader in a program called JAG, that bucks this trend. The Jobs for America’s Graduates program rightly recognizes that there are diverse learning types and helps students decide which career path would be the best for how they learn. It emphasizes (and succeeds in increasing the rate of) graduation and equips the students with a multifaceted toolkit of decision-making experiences to keep them from automatically being shoehorned into a college with the same student debt whether or not they succeed there. I am proud that my son was in this group and served in various capacities in leadership with his peers. The program, and his wonderful teacher Mrs. Tucker, served him well and gave him tools that will serve him for decades.
I was kind of an educational trailblazer in my family. My brother and I were the first members of our family to every go to college as far as I have known, and were certainly the first with Master’s degrees. Mom and dad graduated high school in the same one in which I graduated, but went on to work until a few years after getting married when my sister came along. Mom stayed home with us the majority of our childhood. Mom wasn’t a huge fan of school, finding it more social than educational. She always bragged that she graduated grade school in her little rural one-room schoolhouse “3rd in her class”, but there were only 4 in her class. 😉 Mom is a very intelligent person as is my dad. It isn’t surprising to me that my siblings were very smart as well, although I am much more of a blue collar student…having to work very hard to get my As and Bs. (In fact, spell check had to fix my first rendition of “Intellegent” a couple of sentences ago. 😉 ) My folks are both very street smart and rich in common sense as well. I have benefited from them in that way both genetically and experientially.
That brings us to our week’s dementia topic: “Mr. Applegate’s Brain Games: The Brain as a Muscle”. This week I will hit on exercising the brain, in various ways, and hopefully separate some fact from some less-than-fact that we find online. Thank you for coming to the Cornbread table this week in advance. As always, I covet your opinions, your corrections, your typo help (!!), and your friendship as we try to make sense of this mess. God bless each and every one of you!
Seeing mom through the window and hearing her was nice. She laughed. She reassured us that things were ok with her trademark humor, making faces and laughing a lot. It was both better and worse from a sadness meter sense. Hard stuff indeed.
Graduating into adulthood was hard enough. This stuff is PhD level adulting and my brain may be better served finger-painting and eating paste.