I feel Barack Obama’s pain—not the pain of the man who is president but the pain of the person who receives praise for his intellect that is almost always followed by the word but.
Mrs. Obama at this week’s gathering of educators
Today’s blog is a complete version of a letter I sent to the White House in response to remarks made at this week’s education events, hosted by the First Lady. The White House contact page allows only 2500 characters, including spaces. And as I’m sure you can understand if you follow my blog, it took me hours to condense this into fewer characters than it had originally had words.
Dear President and Mrs. Obama:
My father quit school in fifth grade, my mother in ninth grade. Dad quit because no one ever told him the value of an education. My mom quit to take care of a mother with a life-threatening illness. Their income hovered just above the poverty level, and during job losses, our family survived because of government assistance. Because of their experiences, my parents demanded that their children get the education they didn’t have. They named me for their favorite teacher, and because they respected teachers so much, I chose teaching as my profession.
Mrs. Obama, as you said at this week’s events at the White House, “That story of opportunity through education is the story of my life.” Of my paternal grandparents’ 57 grandchildren, my sister and I were the first to enroll in and graduate from college. Continue reading More Powerful than a Pen?