Being a parent. No small thing.
I have one child, a son, who turns 23 this Thursday.
He lives in my home town of NYC and opens in his 3rd off (sometimes off-off) Broadway production since being in NYC for 9 months.
My son is the product of the Newburyport public school educational system.
When I first moved here, low so many years (decades) ago, I would most definitely have considered the Newburyport public schools to be “mediocre.”
Somewhere along the line they could have gone from “mediocre,” as Jim Roy has said in his article in the Newburyport Current, to “average.” The great fear is that they could be “mediocre.”
When my son entered the public school system I had no illusions that he would at any time get anything close to a private school education. He did not.
And when he went to a private college following Newburyport High School, the college was well aware of the discrepancy between a public and private education and adjusted their curriculum accordingly.
No, my son did not learn Latin, but I think he learned many more valuable lessons. One can always learn Latin if one is so inclined.
He learned what it was to be part of the community of Newburyport, MA, the good, the bad, ugly and the downright wonderful and moving.
He did not think he was “special,” but he knew that he was appreciated and that he was loved.
And somehow, along the way he acquired a great curiosity for learning. Maybe one of the greatest gifts that an educational system can bestow. In his freshman year, although it was not on the curriculum at Newburyport High School, he discovered the “Beat” writers and read everything there was to read from Jack Kerouac and company.
He continued to read at a college and post college level, which again had nothing to do with curriculum, all the way through Newburyport High School. Reading Nietzsche as a high school sophomore is pretty impressive. I have never read Nietzsche, so believe me, this is something he did not get from me.
To this day he reads on, as well as discovering and reading authors that I have never heard of.
He also writes poetry and plays.
And I thought for today’s post, I would include one of my favorite poems that my son has written.
in my belly is the sea
of my mother
i am the wind
a white dress
slips through a hand
this is love
© Hal Fickett