How Was School Today?

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After sitting down to dinner with my parents

at either head of the table, our Dad would ask

this question after we finished saying Grace

together before our shared meal.  Memories


flooded my mind as I observed how silent

our neighborhood became because the

children had returned to school.  I envisioned

dinner conversations at their tables.  Exciting.

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I don’t remember who started to answer our

Dad’s question nightly.  Whoever had the most

urgent news I suppose.  Results of a test in one

subject or how strict a teacher was.  News.

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Grumblings.  Happy reports.  Our parents were

genuinely interested in our answers.  Education

was at the top of the list of importance.  If we

had something negative to report, more questions

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resulted until a resolution could be discerned.

Our parents were active participants in the

parent organizations both in Massachusetts

as well as in Colorado.  Our Dad brought a

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German guest to one of our high school

meetings:   Herr (Mr.) Bode.  Our Dad spoke

a little German, but his accent when he

introduced the gentleman was such


that people around shook the gentleman’s

hand while declaring “Glad to meet you,

Herb.”  Mind you, that was not his first name

but the resulting German pronunciation!

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Today in recalling such events, I am mildly

amused and no longer mortified by our

Dad’s German pronunciation.  Our Dad’s declaration

to us repeated quite often over the years

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was that he wanted to live long enough to

see all his daughters graduate from college.

After obtaining five degrees in German,

I surpassed his expectations.  He passed


during my first Fulbright Year in Germany

but not before telling me how proud he

was of me and of all his daughters.  His words

are forever engraved in my heart.  Thanks, Dad.

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Our Dad’s love and interest in our

education remains today and has been

passed on to our two children.  My fervent

hope is for all parents to take an interest

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in the education of their children and

to talk about it at the dinner table during

those formative years.  From generation

to generation, the seed is thus planted.

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This entry was posted in dinner table talk, education, saying Grace, school and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to How Was School Today?

  1. A wonderful post for sharing, especially as students return to school, Mary Ann! It’s so important for parents to ask those questions and listen carefully to the answers. A perfect question!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Arno Bode , Cologne ,Germany says:

    Liebe Mary Ann ,

    welch wunderbare Schilderung Du wieder Deinen Lesern gibst. Danke für die Erinnerung ,die Du an meinen Vater geweckt hast. Ich bin glücklich auch Deinen Vater persönlich kennen gelernt zu haben. Ich liebe ganz besonders das Foto ,das Dich mit Deinem Vater zeigt. In meinem Herzen habe ich dieses Foto seit mehr als einem halben Jahrhundert. Dir liebe Mary Ann , Russell und Deiner Familie wünsche ich alles Liebe und Gute für die Zukunft.
    Alles Liebe ,
    Dein Arno

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lieber Arno,
      vielen Dank für den aufschlussreichen und sehr netten Kommentar. Ich bin froh, dass Du auch meinen Vater kennengelernt hast. Es ist eine kleine Welt. Sei gesund und genieße das Wochenende.Mit den besten Wünschen an Lilly
      Deine Mary Ann


  3. Emily Nemecek says:

    Love all the photos, simply gorgeous! Xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow! What an education banner you stand under! I immediately recognized your photo on the poster.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anne, thank you once more. The people were a mixture of US and German teachers and students. A dream come true for them and for us. We met via video conferences, pen pal letters, emails and more. Truly a great project. Be well and enjoy your weekend. oxox

      Liked by 1 person

    • Anne, one more note to the banner you mentioned. I designed the logo and one side contains hand prints from my students who then signed their names. The other side contains the hand prints and signature of the German students. So I made two such banners and sent one to Germany at the end of the school year. It came back in time to be used for open houses, video conferences and other special events. I added a quilt back and circles to hang the banner. Thanks for noticing and making mention of this very unique and special banner. Be well. oxox


  5. Andy Oldham says:

    This is a heart warming tribute to your Dad! Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sally says:

    Conversations at the dinner table… from a long past era like “Leave it to Beaver” days! Times have changed!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sally, thank you for the comment. Those were the days! Our two grew up in such a home. Some of our friends also honor the sacred dinner hour and conversation. Times have changed. But some customs and traditions remain. Be well. Have a good week. oxox


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