Moline Memories - MHS 66 Friends

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Teacher's Day - Part III - My Wife the Teacher.
Mother's Day

Our son is in this photo with my father,
but he looks exactly like his son at that age.
See Batman below.

My wife Christina was trained to be a German teacher at Augustana College, and she lived in Germany to learn more and become especially fluent. Later she earned a master's degree in German literature at the University of Waterloo, a tough program where all the reading was in German - and  so were most of the lectures.

I was one of her first students. She thought I should learn German, and I took plenty of courses at Augustana in German, and she took Greek - based on my suggestion. I was not a natural in languages, but I thought they were important to learn, so I took Greek and more Latin.

Every mother is a teacher, and Chris devoted herself to teaching our children all the time. She gave her language abilities to our son, and gave our daughters a special love for conversation and laughter. Bethany and Erin Joy could not talk, but they spoke with their eyes, laughter, smiles, and tears. Story time was so important we even phoned up story time from a special number.

All three children heard stories, listened to books read, and enjoyed group lovey time. There are many ways to teach.

My wife Chris decided that learning itself was good, not something received at a school, even though she substitute taught at various schools. Learning happened all the time, which is how we talked her into an Atari game computer - for education. "They have all kinds of programs to teach math and everything else."

That little game computer turned into a career. Today, we had the best time talking about the latest advances.

I remember Chris driving Little Ichabod to the community college for classes, very early, as I mentioned before. We home-schooled, which was a great experience. I got to tutor him in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, and he tutored his classmates in Latin and Greek.

My wife and I love literature, so we had a home full of literature, classical music, and hymns. When I read stories, I insisted on junior editions of literature or classic children's stories, like Wind in the Willows. We read Tolkien and Lewis too.

The wonderful thing about a wife and mother working at home is the astonishing amount of education that comes from that experience. During Fiddler on the Roof being played on the record player, the young groom sang "Miracle of miracles, God gave you to me." At that point our toddler ran over and kissed his mother. During the "Fifteen Birds in Five Fir Trees," song from The Hobbit record, he danced. I was in my office downstairs and heard the song and the feet thumping - so much fun.

Chris was always looking for ways to get the best education for LI. Various opportunities worked out, and we found ways to work around the drones and drudges in education.

I had to say at one school, "It is better to deserve honors than receive them." That was where the school secretary controlled the principal and decided on giving awards to the dumbest - truly a practical education in how the world works, even in putative Christian schools.

WELS had some excellent teachers in Shakespeare (Oxford), math, and science. Chris was 100% for that, since we thought an education was valuable in itself, not a way to earn a ton of money. A great liberal arts education is now The Thing in careers, because people with a broad education are better at thinking through problems and solving them. And they can articulate ideas in good English, a real bonus today.

Teaching mothers become teaching grandmothers, which means enrollment in a mutual admiration society.