My Parents were High School Dropouts
I just realized that I am the child of dropouts. (Perhaps you are too.)
My mother came to the U.S. in 1936 from Germany at the age of 16. Pretty clearly, she didn’t finish anything approaching a high school degree.
My father came to this country in 1926 at the young age of 20. I never heard him speak of finishing any school in northern Germany.
Mom was a Seamstress
My mother rarely worked outside the home. But she always had a corner of the apartment, and later a room in the basement, where she did seamstress work. Women would come and go to get their clothing altered by Bertha. Mom altered very fancy clothing, sewed, and also steam pressed outfits. She also tailor made fabulous clothing for herself and altered all the hand me down clothes I owned (perhaps the only clothing purchased new for me were blue jeans).
During the 1950’s when I was young, I remember my mother going to the local college to study for her U.S. citizenship and also take courses on sewing. In her own right, she took the initiative to study whatever she needed to learn: on her own or in school.
Dad was a Painter and then a Janitor
My dad was a fantastic house painter. Long before there were mixing machines, my father could mix different colors of paint and match whatever you had on your wall. He also was a terrific athlete. When he purchased his first building at the age of 45, mom said he did a handstand on the banister of our 1st floor porch. It was just before I was born.
Later in life after his first heart attack, he couldn’t work as a commercial painter anymore. He took a job as a painter/janitor for a school system in the Chicago suburbs.
Dad had an amazing ability to perform math in his head. It was startling he was so good. I think I inherited that trait from him. He never went back to school so either he had a high school degree or he didn’t, I don’t know. I do know he had a fantastic memory for statistics and would often correct our local TV sportscasters who botched their recollection of baseball statistics.
What’s my point?
My sister and I never once imagined that we would not finish high school. We finished high school and both earned masters degrees. But both our parents were dropouts.
My parents were high school dropouts but wonderfully intelligent, I only wish I could tell them this since my father died in 1971 and my mom died two years ago.
So here’s hoping that whether you have dropout parents or not, that your parents will encourage you to finish high school and college as my wonderful parents did. You can do it, just one step at a time.