(Photo stolen from ShanghaiChew on Flickr)
Week two of summer vacation is here. I really need to send thank you notes to the girls' teachers, who are a credit to our education system.
We are so very lucky to have the school that we have, which is a jewel. Involved parents, fantastic teachers, and a very wholesome environment. I discuss this with the girls' grandparents quite a bit, and often when I talk with my father about his own elementary education, the following story comes up.
Dad grew up in Berkeley, California, before and during World War II, when Berkeley was known for the excellence of its schools and for little else. Even so, he remembers little about his teachers or his school days . . . except this incident, which comes up often in conversation.
David's (my dad) second grade (or thereabouts) teacher very unfairly asked her pupils if they had ever heard their parents swear. This was hugely unwise and would get her fired today, but in about 1942 people were a tad preoccupied with a war or something.
When it was little David's turn to answer, he told the teacher, "My father never swears, but one time? I heard my mother say 'bullshit.'"
My poor grandma, when she later heard the story, was horrified. She was not a woman to swear, but obviously she did at least once. She was quite pregnant with her third child in June for little David's birthday, and she made her husband, my quiet grandfather, take the day off to bring cupcakes into the classroom that day because she refused to show her face.
In later years she was able to recognize the humor of the situation, which is part of why I loved her.