Not long ago, a good friend’s daughter graduated from preschool. The kids made little mortarboards and wore them as they marched in a graduation ceremony. She didn’t say who was selected valedictorian, but potty training skills were probably a criterion.
Today schools hold graduation festivities for kindergarteners, fifth graders going into middle school, and eighth graders moving on to high school. And that's just the beginning.
During my distant childhood, we didn't have all those graduation ceremonies. But relatives and family friends still asked the inevitable question, “What are you going to do when you grow up?" For me, the answers weren't easy.
Preschool was held at my grandparents' house in Adel. My grandmother Eva was lead teacher, teacher's aide, cook, entertainment director, and head of housekeeping (AKA changing what needed to be changed.) My graduation occurred when my feet finally reached the ground. Cookies and milk were served. I wanted to be...an acrobat? Don't think so.
|Grandma Eva encourages me to fly high.|
Ah, kindergarten! Those days of blocks, sandboxes, and mandatory unwanted naps. We learned to write our names and numbers. We read about Dick, Jane, and Spot. I graduated at the ripe old age of five with a love of books, cats, and dogs. My goal was to be a cat when I grew up.
|My favorite dress made by Aunt Carol.|
|My eighth grade graduation dress.|
|Class valedictorian Kris, me (salutatorian), and college man brother Dan.|
|My Grand View GPA was 4.00, but I had no career skills.|
I graduated from Iowa State University with great grades but no idea what I wanted to do except maybe be an airline attendant. With a major in sociology and a minor in psychology, I wasn't qualified to do much of anything. But look at that tan!
|With my brother Dan, Dad, and Mom.|
Five years after college graduation I earned my Masters of Science in Teaching, became a teacher, and taught for almost three decades. My parents breathed a sigh of relief that I was finally established in a career. When I started writing in the 90s, my students became a captive audience. Mom read some of my early stuff, but neither of my parents lived to see my books published.
It took a few years to decide what I wanted to do when I grew up, but some decisions can't be rushed.