Thursday, April 26, 2007

Events of Note

In the middle of watching Helen Mirren in "The Queen" last night (what a good movie!), the phone rang. It was my son calling from Reno with a decided lilt in his voice. This is the young man who is getting married in June and is up to his ears in school, work, and wedding prep--and a lot of stress.

It turns out that the lilt in his voice comes from the recent realization that he loves the study of history with a passion, so much so that he is going to shift his major from computer information science to history. He's going to become a teacher!

He has loved history ever since he got involved in the Renaissance re-enactment group Empire of Chivalry and Steel, back in the 90's, and I've always secretly felt he would be a wonderful teacher. He has such presence in front of groups and a style of presentation that is humorous (without being overdone) and engaging, not pedantic.

We were counting up all the teachers on both sides of our family and we ran out of fingers before we got past the grandparents. I am really happy for him; I know what it's like to realize what you want to do with your life and to see a path ahead that looks like a lot of joy and satisfaction, even though it may be demanding.

I have friends whose children have been straight A students all their lives, heading through school without a hitch, on into a well-paying career, and I don't envy them a bit.

My son has been a challenge and a joy all of his life, making his way through school in a less than linear fashion, achieving more in the way of enduring friendships than good grades (at least till now), and proving time and again that it isn't grades and academic prowess that are the mark of success. It's the character formed in the process of growing and learning. He has achieved that and more. I'm very happy for him and so amazed that I have the good fortune to be his mother.

In other news: tomorrow I will leave early for Portland and thence east to White Salmon, WA, in the Columbia River Gorge, where we are having our annual sleepover for the McEwen ladies. There will be eight or so of us. It's been several years since I've gotten to go to the White Salmon gathering; this year it's on a weekend I don't have to preach. I'll be back Saturday afternoon late, because I do have to teach the youth class on Sunday afternoon, a slightly less demanding job than preaching. I'm looking forward to visiting the Pendleton outlet store in Washougal before I get to the sleepover site. Pendleton products on the cheap! Yay!


mcewen said...

Well hello there! I turned up here by chance [google alert on 'mcewen']
Sounds like you are going to have great fun, and I agree with you about the "Queen" Helen Mirren film - I'm looking forward to watching it.
Best wishes

ms. kitty said...

It's great to hear from you, McEwen! Our group graduated from a small high school in Athena, a tiny town in northeastern Oregon, back in l959, named after one of the Scottish pioneers who settled the area. There is an annual Caledonian Days festival there with traditional games, music, dance and piping.

We get together a couple of times a year, often at Caledonian Days, and recount the joys of being the McEwen Scotties.

I scouted your blog and am most admirous of your work with your children. Loved the mustard story!

Miss Kitty said...

Hooray for Son of Ms. Kitty! HOORAY!!!!!!

Teaching is one of the hardest things a person can do...but so rewarding. I'm happy and proud to welcome your son to the ranks.

And please let him know that almost everything he learns about teaching will be by the seat of his pants, and not in an education classroom. It's the only way to go, and it's how the profession works.

Joel said...

Of all the things I could have imagined Mike doing, teaching history is one of the last I would have thought of. I always pictured him as a natural computer geek, as apparently did he until now. :)

I kind of envy him, though. History is fascinating enough as an amateur. Making your living at it would be a heap of fun.