Saturday, October 23, 2010

Who Do I Blame for Not Starting Sooner?

This is Part II for my previous post Who Do I Blame?

LOL. I think I am going to revise that December 2003 chapter in my book. I'm going to call it The Fever and the Bug.

Who do I blame for not starting to study genealogy sooner? I have nobody to blame but myself. When the mini series, Roots, came on TV, I had just started my first quarter at Vernon Regional Junior College. Before I started college, I created some ground rules for myself that were non-negotiable. I had a study schedule that I decided would be strictly followed and failure to follow would mean potential disaster for my college career. I decided early on that I had to have a study schedule. I was working full time; a young airman in the Air Force, single and had previously gone to the Airman's Club to party, sometimes, even every day. I didn't need that kind of attitude or lifestyle bleeding into or disrupting my studies. I decided that if I made an exception for Roots, then I'd probably find an excuse to make exceptions for other good reasons. So when Roots came on, even though I could have taken just that one week to watch Roots, I decided not to because I was studying every evening from 7-9 unless I was in class that night.

Correction: ...every Sunday through Thursday evening from 7-9 unless... That still left Friday and Saturday for partying.

I could also blame the Youngstown Public School System and all of my teachers for not being more stimulating or motivating to offer some kind of genealogy project in the curriculum. Oh wait, there I am blaming myself again. It is not the fault of my educators that I wasn't motivated or stimulated towards that area of study. Here's a quote, "You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him find it within himself." Galileo Galilei

Actually, I can think of occasions where a couple of specific teachers offered some sort of stimulation, I just did not run with it as I could have. First grade, learning to read. My life was certainly more exciting than Dick, Jane and Sally with their pets, Spot & Puff. I don't know if you had the same first grade readers that I had, but "See Dick and Jane. See Spot. See Spot run. Run, Spot, run." was not interesting reading. Third grade, tracing silhouettes of each other and cutting them out, then shuffling them to try determining who was who. Fourth grade, studying geography for the first time. Pedro and Maria were a brother and sister couple that were living in Argentina. Why didn't I take that opportunity then, to start learning more about my own life, culture and environment? Seventh grade; studying the Aztec Indians (or was it the Incas?)... I remember creating a diary project that aged the paper with tea and burned edges to look old. Or even eighth grade, memorizing and reciting The Gettysburg Address.

Still blaming myself, why did I not take lessons from life and death that were not part of my school curriculum? Lessons like remembering the I have a Dream Speech, or deaths of notable people like Martin Luther King Jr, John F. Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy. Why didn't I want to pay more attention to remember stories of my father or my Grandmother Clara? Another great opportunity to have started sooner is recounted when my Grandma Ella died in 1969. I could have take the 'discussion' "When was she born?" and ran with that. What about when I was in college? Attending Wayland Baptist University after Vernon, I had to take two religion classes. I took Old Testament and New Testament History. In the Old Testament History, the instructor, who was a Baptist Minister's wife, took us through the genealogy of Jesus. All that is time or opportunities that I cannot take back or relive. Right now, I cannot think of any other opportunities that I have passed or missed. But isn't that enough? That's more than enough. All I can say about that is that I'm so happy I'm on it now!

Are there any missed opportunities in your life?

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