Cranks My Tractor

Published: Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 09:13 AM.

We are often faced with situations where we are forced to say, “I can’t put it into words.”  The words we are searching for may relate to joy, sadness or the look on a dog’s face when you catch him with the kitchen trash strewn all over the floor and wearing the now bottomless trash bag as some sort of Hawaiian lei.

Finding the right word or words can often be difficult.

My second child has been working on her college essays that you send along with your application and test scores and other things to convince them that you are wonderful.  Folks often pay a lot of money for tickets to see sporting events and concerts.  One thing I might not mind paying to see is these decision makers going through the process of deciding who gets in their school and who gets the scholarship money.

I often wonder if they just take a pile of these applications and throw them in the air and then randomly pick up the number they need from the floor.  After having taught undergraduate and graduate mathematics courses for many years, I still don’t understand the process or logic behind the final decisions.

Anyway, my daughter had been struggling with one of the essay topics.  My advice has always been just start writing about something you enjoy, then go back and change it a little to fit the topic.  My children don’t listen to that kind of advice from me.   It’s probably a good thing.

This daughter who will be starting to college in a year loves to read and enjoys writing.  Of my three children, she is the only one who ever bothers to read my stories.  She will even critique them and correct some of the many grammatical issues I may or may not have made on purpose.  You get to an age and place where you can honestly say, “I did that on purpose, for effect.”

Every night she goes to bed with her glasses on in the middle of a book.  If I could change one thing about my education, it would be to have taken the time to read more when I was young.  Now, I’m more apt to read something I should have read in high school or college than anything you will find on the best sellers list.  In other words, I’m trying to catch up.

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