A Cutting-edge Education

Alrighty, FINALLY finished reading Grace Jones’s memoir; and Bob Herbert’s Losing Our Way in close concert [my thoughts here and here]...and was inspired to peel off another layer of skin...thanks Grace... to write this post in acknowledgment of Veteran's Day.

The sections on education in Losing Our Way I couldn’t get my thoughts off the irony in the argument. The clash to maintain a system where every one of its adversaries are by-products of this system (in a basic sense) was striking.

It would seem that everyone, on any side of the argument would find education critical. However, the fact that not all do, particularly those in governing positions, and for whatever the reason, poses a very interesting view of education itself.

And so, that's when I got to thinking about my cutting-edge education. And NO, I don't credit classroom time, nor books or reading as my primary educator, despite the trailblazing effect that reading and writing has had on enriching my life experiences.

True Story; one I share a lot…

The best education I received was leaving America as a teen, “professionally uneducated” with two babies in tow, but without telling my husband (serving a military tour in Germany) we were on our way.

To this day my mother hates reliving this memory. It wasn’t only my life at stake in this wisdom pursuit, but my children’s life as well. Now, me, I don’t get as squeamish thinking back on this time, though admittedly I would not have done what I did then, in my current mindset today. AND I as well might as well add, I would have birthed a barn of cows had one of my children done this to me.

But I was quite young and a lot more naΓ―ve when I left America believing of all credulities, I was headed to a world so foreign I might as well have been on my way to the moon. Up to this point I had read a lot about things that occurred in Germany back in the 40’s, and heard through the news and other American medias stories that had my mind imagining all sorts of things, none of which turned out even remotely true.

About the third day living in Germany, in a quaint village a good many miles away from a military base, I decided to take my children out to see the town, like I used to do ‘back’ home.

Pushing one in a stroller and holding the other by hand we walked over to a train depot passing itty-bitty homespun stores situated between and around a quiescent mix of both rustic-looking and brassy new homes, and a farm nurturing a few cows. Beautiful…though desolate for a girl used to lots of people and well…okay… lots of noise too.

The parking lot around the train depot was empty, save for one bus that carried passengers into the city… or so I figured. So I started walking towards this lone bus WHEN ALL OF A SUDDEN, on this bright pretty picture perfect day, with only two or three see-through tiny white clouds in the sky, hovering over a quaint little sleepy village chillin’ as quiet as a mouse, COMES A NOISE I had never heard in my ENTIRE life.

Y’all, what I’m saying is I thought the village was under attack!!! I had read so many books, and heard so many old war stories, that I naturally assumed what I later learned was an F-16 on a ROUTINE training maneuver, was about to attack us!

Immediately, in front of the bus filled with passengers, I grabbed my son and dove on top of my other child in the stroller, taking us all to the ground with me wrapped around them.

The picture be gotten, you must know what happened when I finally got up off the ground and boarded the bus.

They laughed at me. A bus filled full of passengers laughed so hard I saw tears in many eyes, though too, I instantly made quite a few friends through pats on the back and reading lips all the way into the city.

Today I love the Blue Angels. I love that unexpected deafening noise slicing through air. Reminds me of that one day, one of my favorite endearing “American” moments, along with many other lessons I learned living outside America as well. …The crash course learning a second language. Discovering first-hand how foreigners feel about America and Americans. And those great look backs' on the many indispensible lessons that taught me courage, helped me become better at reasoning, and respecting the raw determination to care for someone other than myself.

I am indebted to the channels that allowed such a rich education.