This is a good week for the Pennsylvania part of the family.
Our oldest grandchild, George, forgot to check his email Monday, until 2 o’clock in the morning. Then he sent the above text message to his parents, down the hall.
I keep telling George he reminds me of me, a late bloomer. He fell in love with the state university at Bloomsburg, where he has some family history, along the Susquehanna River, two hours from his home.
He’s had a pretty good year – made himself into a reliable wrestler, holds a job in a nice supermarket chain, got his license and a car, but was sweating out college, until he discovered the email from Admissions.
George’s enthusiasm at getting into the college he wanted reminded me how I felt at home the first time I walked onto the nice little campus of Hofstra College a long time ago.
There are many right colleges for people, as Frank Bruni is saying in his latest book, “Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be,” aimed at people facing the elite-college-admissions rat race. All colleges have good teachers, good courses, a mix of students. We think he’s going to thrive.
George's sister is also having a good week. Lulu and her dad Peter (and later her mom Corinna) are flying to Las Vegas for the Players College Showcase soccer tournament, attended by many college coaches.
Lulu plays for the FC Pennsylvania Strikers, currently rated fourth nationally in the 15-and-Under class, coached by Jim McLoughlin, a former Canadian Olympian and member of the old New York Arrows.
Lulu travels from Harrisburg to the Philadelphia suburbs once or twice a week for practice, competes with very good players for playing time, and also plays for the high school team with her friends from home. She’s an A student and is thinking about becoming a doctor.
There are no guarantees, plenty of work ahead, day by day. For the moment, George and Lulu are having a good week.
“They may hate the cultural context they now find themselves teaching in, but they love their work. The Achilles’ heel of schoolteachers, one all too easily exploited by politicians, is that they love their students.”
(One of the best reads in the NYT these days is Margaret Renkl, in Nashville. In her latest post, Renkl describes the dedicated core of “born teachers” – the majority, she submits.)
(From Madeleine Albright in one of her final interviews in February):
“Putin is small and pale,” I wrote, “so cold as to be almost reptilian.” He claimed to understand why the Berlin Wall had to fall but had not expected the whole Soviet Union to collapse. “Putin is embarrassed by what happened to his country and determined to restore its greatness.” – Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, recalling her first meeting with the relatively unknown Vladimir Putin in 2000. – The New York Times, Feb. 23, 2022.