I got the call the other day from my cousin–she’s more like a sister than a cousin, really–that my Granny had fallen and was in the hospital for surgery. It’s still too soon to tell what’s going to happen, but as with many things like this in life, it put everything else in perspective. I started wondering why I moved 2000 miles away, why I didn’t try harder to get a better job out here, what’s really important in life, etc. etc. etc.
Then, as I was delivering folios tonight, and trying not to think about how bad my right knee chronically aches, I had a flashback. It was Honours Night at the end of my 9th grade year, and four of us freshmen were invited to be award recipients along with the other students, namely seniors. As the evening progressed, we realized we were each going to be recipients of “Freshman With the Highest GPA in ________ (fill in the blank: Math, Science, Social Studies, and English).” Before I figured out why I was there, one of the other three told me I had to be the English recipient. Granted, this was more process of elimination on her part than recognition of my stunning ability to write, but still. Our freshman class had been the largest to ever enter the high school, so it was very humbling and seemingly impossible that I’d be considered the best English student of all the hundreds of us. I still think it had more to do with luck than ability, but that award has meant more to me and defined my life more than I like to let on.
My thoughts right now: I’m glad I put in the time and effort to finish my English degree. Even if it gets me nowhere in particular, I had a ball learning more about myself and the human experience than any sort of spoon-fed literature, and grammar will always be confusing to everyone on one level or another. I know I’m not the only one in a less-than-hoped-for occupation right this minute, nor the only one who’s concerned about his 97-year-old Granny on the other side of the country. Life is funny that way: We like to pretend to think we have all the answers, but we never, ever do.