In the last week, my son and daughter-in-law have both been awarded their PhDs in economics. To say I’m proud of them is an understatement. I’m pretty much doing the Snoopy dance of joy in response to their accomplishments. It’s made even more impressive by the fact that both of them achieved their bachelors degrees in three years rather than the usual four. And they did that by excelling in their high school AP courses so that those classes counted toward their BA.
On my husband’s side of the family, his dad was an attorney. His mom completed some college. But on my side, both my mom’s mom and dad’s dad only went as far as the 8th grade. My dad didn’t finish high school. He got his GED from the Navy. My mom graduated high school, then attended beauty school. She ended up spending much of her working life as a waitress (although in the last part of her life, she owned a restaurant).
Of my three sisters, only the oldest one went to college, and she got an AA. I knew I wanted more than that. I remember sitting down with my dad one day, telling him I wanted to go to college. He asked, “But what if you get married and quit?” I told him, “Oh, Dad, I won’t do that.” It seems so old-fashioned for a dad to ask a daughter that question, but at that time, we were on the cusp between women being homemakers only and women beginning to test the waters that only men swam in.
So I got my BA and later a masters. The first one in my family to go that far. And when I had my own kids, we never lectured them about college, we never pushed them, but it must have been in their DNA. They went straight from high school to college. Leading to a BA for my older son and an eventual PhD for my younger son.
This blog post is a bragfest, but it’s also me announcing how fanatical I am about education. I feel strongly that kids have to do something after high school, whether it’s four-year college, trade school, apprenticeship. If they want a job that’s going to pay more than minimum wage, that might eventually earn them a profession, they need education. And if there’s any way to do that without a pile of debt at the end, that’s ideal. It sucks that education costs so much at many institutions.
So I’m going to bask a little in the reflected glow of my son’s accomplishment (and my daughter-in-law’s even though that’s even more reflected). And there will be a massive grin on my face (and a few tears) when they graduate June 14th.