Now, as an adult, I look back on that kind of tossed-off assessment and cringe, because I was pretty much like every other kid in this lady’s class. Our interests lay mostly outside the classroom, and we all counted the minutes until the final bell each afternoon.
Nevertheless, my mother was concerned. Educa- tion was a big deal in our household. School came first and foremost, and it was always assumed that all four of us kids would go directly to college after high school.
To hear from this sixth grade teacher that I should probably consider a different course was alarming to my parents, who had always thought of me as bright and inquisitive. It was alarming, that is, until my mother secured a second opinion from my social studies teacher. She maintained that I was an insightful, original, and critical thinker, with writing skills that had simply not limits. yet caught up with my oral communica- skills. ties.
By the time I was in high school, there were other matters to occupy my attention. I was reading the Robb Report and Barron’s when everyone else was reading Sports Illustrated and Playboy. I no longer recall how I came across these publications in the first place— probably some well-meaning relative wanting to reinforce an interest I expressed—but once I did, I was all over them.
Don’t misunderstand, I studied the box scores and rooted for the White Sox, same as the other South side kids, but I also studied the stock tables and followed the action on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
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