Ask Paul B: Time for Dad to Eat Crow

Dear Paul B Readers,

There comes a time when even the teacher becomes the student, and there is a ‘pun intended.’ Back, just three long years ago, I was TOLD that my daughter was accepted AND going to attend S.I.U. This is a school that is in Illinois, but the furthest distance from the Northwest suburbs that you can possibly reach without leaving the state. My daughter was barely an average high-school student. Nor was she prepared or committed to an education. Tests were difficult, and she struggled with reading. I realize there were obstacles, and I prayed that she would overcome her test anxiety and take her education much more seriously. In my opinion, there were few people who were more sheltered or spoiled than my “little princess.” When we discussed her shortcomings, which were evident to all, I suggested that she start at one of the numerous community colleges that dot the landscape here in Northeast Illinois — Harper, COD, Oakton C.C, and a few others would be a wise choice, or so I thought. My eldest insisted that she could cut it, and off she went, to prove me WRONG.

I bet a few friends that after six weeks, I would be schlepping the seven-hour long, extremely banal drive to Carbondale to carry my girl back to her home, in my caring arms. I even envisioned an apology for ‘biting off more than she could chew,’ as they say.
Well, guess who is eating his Panama Hat right now? Yep, good old Dad is now the proud father of a junior, majoring in Health Care, who made the Deans List, and looking for more. Shayna has performed beyond my wildest dreams, and I am happier than that pig in slop. I never thought a hat could taste this delicious. Moral of the story…sometimes it really helps to challenge your kids—they’ll surprise the heck out of you sometimes. Cheers!

— Paul B.

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