Dear Michael and Caroline,
Suddenly, without ever quite realizing why, I found myself able to listen to my professors.
Suddenly I saw school as a place where I could go with other students to learn stuff, including how to think.
Suddenly I recognized that I could go from being a rather hapless, hopeless high school student – graduating, it still pains me to acknowledge, maybe 500th or 600th in a class of 700 – to someone rather serious, maybe even a touch scholarly.
Of course I loved the classes in Literature and had a really good teacher of Shakespeare who grew animated and acted out scenes. But I also came to like History and Psychology, too. And naturally my grades improved, to about a “B” average, and so did my self-respect and pride. And I’m really glad it all changed like that.
From then on I’ve always felt like a student, curious, ready even to sit still and listen, at least once in a while.
And it all probably had a lot to do with me becoming a writer and a journalist, because reporters ask questions and listen to the answers and find out stuff to tell the world. And when it comes to a job, to making a living, that’s all I’ve ever wanted to do.
It took me a long time to see that life itself is the best school.
P.S. – Have you ever told your kids about your experiences in school – and your attitude toward it?