Gina Lawless Books

May 20, 2012

Encourage and Inspire

Filed under: Obscure Stuff — Gina Lawless @ 4:09 pm
Tags: , , ,

When I was very young and in grade school, I was extremely, painfully shy. Now, I simply call it “private”. It sounds better, don’t you think? I hated school with  such palpable passion that I would think myself ‘sick’ so I could stay home. I had no thoughts of why I hated it so much at that time, but as I have grown into my adult life, I know exactly why.

This may sound sick and twisted to some of the young parents raising their children with such strong and devoted conviction that they may see it as a form of abuse. It may have been, and it did impact my life to such an extent that many years were wasted on it.

My point to this post is to enlighten a generation or two to how the older generation has overcome obstacles and still manifested and evolved. And, a little disclaimer here that any words I use to describe a situation may be deemed as potically incorrect for which I apologize.

I was in second grade being taught basic math: 2+2=what?  3+2= what? So on and so on. I’ve always been mathematically challenged, but I think I could have done better with just a wee bit of encouragement from my parents. I brought my homework home and my mother sat with me as I anguished over these simple problems. Her encouragement was, “You can’t go outside and play until you finish every problem.” I looked at this piece of paper filled with math problems I had to answer. By the time my father came home, I still sat with most of the problems still needing to be resolved. It seemed like a never ending battle.

My mother told him my dilemma, and he came over to me sympathetically…and I will never forget his encouraging words…he said, “You know, the reason you’re retarted, is because the cord was wrapped around your neck when you were born.” Really?

Now, take into account, that during these years of my struggles with math, I had become such a consumate speller, that I won spelling bee after spelling bee. I cannot remember one word of how proud they were of me for that accomplishment. But, I do remember the discouraging words. I would rush home from school, and tell my mother that we had learned a new word and I would spell it for her. She gave me a, “Umm hmm. But, you still need to work on your math,” as she had her eyes planted on General Hospital.

After a traumatic move from Los Angeles to Clovis California, my sixth grade teacher , Mrs. Franklin became my angel. Seeing my struggle with math, she gave me math workbooks to take home, sat with me after school, explained the decimal system to me where I could understand it, and gave such encouragement that even today it brings tears to my eyes when I think of her generosity. She asked me what I liked most. I told her that I loved writing stories. She said that if I wrote a saga, she would read it to the class every Friday. Mrs. Franklin encouraged me to write. She encouraged me to embrace math, not as my enemy, but as a challenge. I wish I could thank her for her beautiful gift. Because of her dedication to her pupils, I actually began to like school, enjoy learning in a new and different way. You will forever be in my heart, Mrs. Franklin, wherever you are.

Who has encouraged and inspired you?

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