Although I am hesitant to post too very much of my daughters’ lives, I find myself sitting timorously at the keyboard pondering over whether and what, if anything, I should write about my some of my other daughter’s experiences and what I might glean from them.
Of course, by beginning to type, I have really made that decision, so here we go.
Thesha is our firstborn, six years older than Althegal. She’s the one who now lives in the same town as we do (or we in the same town as she, rather). She’s the one with the the kids who are the delight of my life — at least when I’m not too exhausted to be delighted.
She must take after her mother because she is a very bright lass: so bright that she was invited to join the gifted class that they were starting up in her second year of high school. She declined, which I didn’t much mind because I taught across the hall from the gifted class in my school and didn’t think that it accomplished a whole lot.
Aside: It is my view, giftedness shouldn’t necessarily require special treatment, at least at the high school level, in order to flourish because these students have the option of accelerating and/or choosing interesting and/or challenging courses. As the gifted program only lasted a few years, it would seem that others might have come to agree with me.
The thing is that despite her native intelligence, Thesha, unlike Althegal, had been inoculated with the social gene rather than the studious gene (yes, I do know that genes are inherited and not inoculated, but please indulge my whims), and it would appear that, in our family at least, the two genes are mutually exclusive. What I am saying is that she spent more time socializing than reading encyclopedias.
There isn’t one golden pathway to a successful life, however, and after several somewhat unfruitful experiences with post secondary education, Thesha ended up in a low wage job on the other side of this large province — in the city where we also live now as a matter of fact. Despite the paucity of pay, however, that job did come with a nice perk; they would pay her tuition for certain night school courses that might benefit the company.
So, after four years of full time college and university education*, Thesha grabbed the opportunity and took five night school classes over the course of a year. Those courses proved to be more beneficial than her four years of full time study and led to her landing her present job, which has afforded her numerous raises and a nice promotion.
In the end, despite several false starts, Thesha figured out what would work for her and found her rightful way in this old world, and I hereby officially opine that some of the trials and tribulations of Thesha’s poor years did their part in the forging of a strong young woman. Together, she and her husband earn quite a satisfactory income and should be set to provide their children with ample opportunities and experiences in life.
The lesson for me at least is that there isn’t one pathway to success in life. The important thing is that we get it right in a way that is compatible with our talents and personalities.
*It occurs to me that some Americans might be confused by the Canadian distinction between university and college, for I only seem to see ‘you’se guys down yonder’ use the term, college. It’s just that in the Great White North, universities are degree-granting institutions whereas most colleges offer more practically oriented courses which result in diplomas. Hence, we tend to make that distinction.
When Thesha turned 30, I made a retrospective photo album for her. These are some of the pictures that went into that album: more or less in chronological order, except for the photos of Thesha with Althegal that come at the end. Nikki Dee insists that the pictures of the young Althegal are really her, and I admit that there is some resemblance. Oddly enough, in the spirit of my mother who used to call me Charlie Cecil AC (the first two parts of the name actually being my uncle and father) I am prone to calling Nikki Dee, Althegal. I wonder if I will ever do the reverse and call Althegal, Nikki Dee?
Click here to see the larger version on Flickr