I was just in a Facebook conversation thread with my seventh grade Social Studies teacher. She commented on a status I posted (after hiding someone's Greg Abbott social media ad) agreeing with me about canned social media ads not swaying my opinion regarding candidates. She said that God gave her enough brains to figure that stuff out for herself and she didn't need help from Facebook, either. I made another post in which Santa is pictured. Because he has read our Facebook statuses, our gifts this year shall be dictionaries. There were quite a few comments on that thread as well as some interaction from Ms. Margaret. I mentioned that I own a 1987 version of the unabridged dictionary that I could donate to Santa's cause. It is missing nearly 30 years of techie terms, such as the use of the word Google, but it has all the important words that we should know and be using (resisting the urge to end the sentence with lol- pun intended). Then, she just threw it in there, "BTW, I'm proud of you." Before I said thank you, my mind was racing through all of the students I knew that she taught. One of my friends has a PhD in French literature. Many of her students have masters degrees, and I think she also taught Herschel Walker (our math teacher taught him, and she was never at a loss for a story about him). Some of her children (students) are smarter than I am, and many of them have made better choices than I have, so I am humbled that she is proud.
Growing up, I was always in classes with the smarter, more privileged students, but most of them were not my friends. I was bullied before there were campaigns against it. Books were a great escape, and my few friends were welcome companions. My mom spent my childhood in survival mode, doing the best she could, while my other parents were not over the fact that they were supposed to be grown ups. Ms. Margaret and EVERYONE I grew up with knew this. I had "I'm Getting the Hell out," syndrome when I graduated from high school. I was delayed a year as we moved almost the minute I walked across the stage to get my diploma. However, I did get the hell out the next year. I didn't have all those offers from all those schools that I had gotten previously, but I did go to college. Most of the other girls with GTHO syndrome got pregnant and got married, but I didn't have a boyfriend, so that was out. College it was. Then I dropped out. Then I went to nursing school and wondered why I did that. There were and still are things that aren't easy, but through the little education I have, I have been available to afford myself the kind of middle class existence that most of my classmates had. As a young girl, I believed in myself enough to become the woman I am becoming.
Thank you, Ms. Margaret, for reminding me of the journey!