It is fine to be zealous, provided the purpose is good, and to be so always, not just when I am with you.
- Galatians 4:18
The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:
wisdom and instruction;
for understanding words of insight;
for receiving instruction in prudent behavior,
doing what is right and just and fair;
for giving prudence to those who are simple,
knowledge and discretion to the young—
let the wise listen and add to their learning,
and let the discerning get guidance—
for understanding proverbs and parables,
the sayings and riddles of the wise.
The fear of
the Lord is the beginning of
but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
- Proverbs 1:1-7
As I mentioned yesterday, our grandson graduated with honors, just like his older sister had done three years ago. He worked hard (3.8 GPA) but fell short of high honors – a perfect 4.0 GPA. Then again, he did not take a full schedule of cream puff classes either. He had a very heavy STEM load, (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). In my opinion, he is much better prepared for college, and life, than some who graduated with high honors. I remember a high school graduating class many years ago that was dissatisfied with the girl that got valedictorian. She had taken the easy road and sailed through. The girl who had come in a close second took every hard class that the school offered, with the Chemistry / Physics teacher rarely giving an “A” to anyone. I feel, with our grandson as an example, that ‘honors’ and ‘high honors’ should take into consideration the difficulty of the material and the grade compared to the average for each teacher. Then again, I am proud of my grandson, for one, and a thinker from outside the box, for another.
It seems that high honors are elusive when taking a heavy technical curriculum. At some point, a high school teacher is going to get the idea to actually prepare the high school students for what they might expect in college. I respected those high school teachers, but they make it nearly impossible to get the “A” grade. The pressure was getting to our grandson, and he took a lighter load his senior year – a chance to step back and enjoy school. I did not come to that conclusion until my second semester of my senior year of college – a bit too late.
My wife and I reminisced regarding honor graduates. She was ninth in her graduating class, not bad when English was her third language. I was fourth, but my class was about half the size of my wife’s class. I followed that with first in my career field in college, one “B” shy of straight “A’s” in graduate school, and third in engineering officer basic (not good at the military stuff). Both our sons were honor graduates from high school, and our younger son had a love-hate relationship with school which caused us to worry and fret.
I’m not saying that we are a family of brainiacs, but we can hold our own. In some cases, it took hard work. In other cases, it was, as my grandmother used to say, “as easy as falling off a turnip truck.” I always wondered about that expression. Is falling off a turnip truck any easier or harder than falling off a carrot truck or watermelon truck? For me, school was an obligation. My father’s mother was a one-room schoolhouse school marm. My brother and sister both had master’s degrees, and I followed them with one of my own. Our older son has two undergraduate degrees, while our younger son is getting near to his master’s degree.
Now it looks like the next generation is on the same track.
But what have we learned?
I asked a niece, going to Texas A&M, if she had learned anything. Her mother, with mother antennae, rushed from the other room to scream in my face that her daughter was an honors student, straight A’s, and I was to keep any snide remarks to myself. Well, as Steve Martin used to say, “Excuse Me!”
I said nothing, but I thought, ‘That in-your-face encounter does not answer my question. Really, my question has two parts. Have you learned anything? And, if so, was any of it worth learning? In other words, you might get a good job in a good company and be a good employee, but does that do you any good in life?’
When I think of my relationship with God, I have learned so much more in recent years than ever before, when the noise of the world has calmed down, and I have learned how to listen to God. Shouldn’t that be the first class that you attend after being born-again, how do you listen and actually hear God’s voice? So much of my head knowledge has been wasted up until I learned how to apply it to God’s plan for my life. Maybe one day I will graduate with honors.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.