The value of Learning

My maternal grandma, Letty, used to lay in the dark with me and tell me stories of her youth. She became a teacher at the age of 16 and, at one point, drove by horse and buggy to three different one room school houses in rural WV to teach young ones. As she got older, she obtained a teacher’s certificate and taught children at Vienna School in Vienna, WV. She built a home and provided for her mother and her siblings. Once she married and started having children, she no longer formally taught..but she would continue to teach her grandchildren how to create ovals for writing, latin names for flowers and fruits that were in the yard, and history. She always told me no matter what I chose to do for a living to love what I do and to keep learning. She told me that as a woman, I could choose to work at any type of job I wanted and there was no shame in any type of job. It took all types of jobs for a community to thrive. I was fortunate that she was able to attend my college graduation (she was in her 80’s). It was her first one and she died shortly thereafter. Forty-one years later, I am still learning, still working, still trying to make sure our youth still have opportunities. If grandma could find a way to teach in a one room school house by horse and buggy in the snow, I find a way to make sure my presence at my job is a given.