Wednesday, January 14, 2009

20 Things My Parents Taught Me

Everything that I needed to learn to survive, I did not learn in an educational institution. In fact, if my education had been left up to the teachers, professors and schools I attended, I'd be woefully dumb. While I may have had a few bright teachers and professors, I must admit that my parents were the major influences on my intellectual development. But they also taught me a few other things. I will list them below.

From my father I learned:

1. The difference between a debit and a credit
2. How to file articles of incorporation (this was a family project when I was in high school)
3. How to check my oil, check the tire pressure, listen to the engine for problems, diagnose the problem, and how not to allow the service person or mechanic to treat me like I'm a dumb chick when I take my car in.
4. How to negotiate terrains of power
5. Never to tell a guy what will happen if he's late for a date
6. How to post accounts (he had me doing this for small businesses before I was in high school)
7. How to do problems in trigonometry, pre-calculus, and calculus (my father was a great mathematician when I was a kid)
8. How to write a coherent essay on the first draft (in elementary school my siblings and I were not allowed to erase our mistakes, my father made us rewrite the entire essay no matter how long it took us)
9. How to be a caring and loving daughter (I'm still learning this)
10. How to be daughter #1.

From my mom, I learned:

1. Never to act dumb no matter how much pressure was placed on me to pretend like I didn't know something
2. To read like my very life depended on it
3. To stir spaghetti sauce while simultaneously reading a book
4. To pay my overdue fines at the library (often my mother would load up the trunk of the car to return mine and my siblings overdue books with her check book in hand; I think my mom was solely responsible for Detroit Public library placing a cap on overdue fees on children's books)
5. How to enjoy poetry
6. How to play the piano
7. How to write fiction, poetry, and plays
8. To read literature within a particular context and to deconstruct it
9. To enjoy all types of literature
10. To develop my mind, develop my mind, develop my mind.