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Carol Perkins: Thoughts at Graduation Time

Every older generation seems to say they wish they had studied more, as even the so bright students of today will no doubt do. But Carol says, "I don't fear for our future because of the brilliant minds coming behind us. They are much smarter than we give them credit for being, unless they are our children or grandchildren and, of course, they are near geniuses.' - CAROL PERKINS
Next earlier Carol Perkins column: Carol Perkins: Parkway Encounter

By Carol Perkins

I admit that I didn't know much of anything when I graduated from high school. No matter how much algebra Mrs. Ennis tried to teach me, I never understood one thing about x+y.

Even after Guy and I were married, I asked him why algebra used the alphabet instead of numbers. He tried


I silently prayed that it would not be my day to go to that black board in room "1" and feel humiliated by not knowing how to work those horrid problems. I escaped more often than not, but when my day came, I dreaded the famous eye and the clearing of the throat. I think my reason for majoring in English was because that degree required no math classes.

By this weekend, most graduations will be over. Bright young men and woman will move forward, and at that time they will realize just how much more they wished they had studied. How much more they wished they had learned. How much more attention they wished they had paid. Only after the fact do we have enough sense even to wish.

Don't know how much I learned in college

Honestly, I don't even know how much I learned in college. I had a great time, met lifelong friends from other parts of the state and the country, but how much I learned was questionable. A few classes did open up new worlds. I had never known much about geology until I took this class to fulfill a science requirement.

I never would have taken an art class beyond the required and very dull art appreciation had it not been for my cousin who didn't want to take it alone. (She became an art teacher and I learned my apple did not look like one.)

EKU history teacher painted a picture instead of lecturing

My required upper level history class at Eastern led me to appreciate European history because the teacher painted a picture rather than lectured, but I never got the hang of probability and statistics that was required for my psychology minor. I passed and that was worthy of a celebration. Frankly, I probably learned what I allowed myself to learn.

Older adults make the best students. At least that is true in my case. When I worked on my master's degree, I was teaching, had two children and a husband, and drove to Bowling Green and other places for my classes. I amazed myself at how smart I had become!

I firmly believe that young people know more now than those of any other generation in spite of their lack of ability to communicate with eye to eye contact (in general).

Future generations will say they wish they had studied more

However, as they move forward they will learn the value of communication and they will say just as we all have said, "I wish I had studied more; I wish I had learned more and I wish I had paid attention." Many will say, " I wish I could do it over again." Well, maybe not that last part.

I don't fear for our future because of the brilliant minds coming behind us. They are much smarter than we give them credit for being, unless they are our children or grandchildren and, of course, they are near geniuses.


Carol Perkins, the writer of this popular CM Column, is an author, owner and operator (until May 2015) of Main Street Screenprinting, 601 S. Main Street, Edmonton, KY, Phones 270-432-3152 and 270-670-4913 and is co-host of Susan (Susan Shirley Chambers) & Carol (Carol Sullivan Perkins) on 99.1 The Hoss, regularly live at 10amCT, each Tuesday.


This story was posted on 2015-05-27 05:22:24
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