More thoughts on Aging

As teenagers, many of us think we know everything there is to know about the world and the universe beyond. Of course, a young person’s “universe” is quite smaller than that of someone in his or her fifties (and beyond). As an “oldster” now I can say, while looking back, that I often thought my parents knew not nearly as much as I did (insert laugh here). Like so many others in their teens, I loved my parents but believed that they were often old fogies whose knowledge of the world was limited to taking care of our house, paying bills, and tending the garden. It didn’t really occur to me that those things had much wider consequences that my pea-sized brain could not yet grasp.

Now, of course, I see that the values I have about a wide range of responsibilities and attitudes about the world came from their experience, common sense, and an enormous struggle to help us mature into useful adults, who would never have to wear striped uniforms behind the bars of a prison cell.

Mom and dad would now be well over a century old, but the values they imparted to my siblings and me, I’ve managed to pass to many of the thousands of students I taught during my career as a high school teacher. Like so many others who have left their teen years in the distant past, I have been able to observe over and over again the metamorphosis of parental discipline from its origins of my resentment to a kind of wisdom that, if we finally understand and respect it, cannot only change our lives but also turn us into responsible adults, who pass it on to yet other generations. Thanks, Mom and Dad, and all the great teachers I had in school, for the wisdom that, at the time, was not always fully appreciated.  JB

About John

About John John Bolinger was born and raised in Northwest Indiana, where he attended Ball State University and Purdue University, receiving his BS and MA from those schools. Then he taught English and French for thirty-five years at Morton High School in Hammond, Indiana before moving to Colorado, where he resided for ten years before moving to Florida. Besides COME SEPTEMBER, Journey of a High School Teacher, John's other books are ALL MY LAZY RIVERS, an Indiana Childhood, and COME ON, FLUFFY, THIS AIN'T NO BALLET, a Novel on Coming of Age, all available on as paperbacks and Kindle books. Alternately funny and touching, COME SEPTEMBER, conveys the story of every high school teacher’s struggle to enlighten both himself and his pupils, encountering along the way, battles with colleagues, administrators, and parents through a parade of characters that include a freshman boy for whom the faculty code name is “Spawn of Satan,” to a senior girl whose water breaks during a pop-quiz over THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS. Through social change and the relentless march of technology, the human element remains constant in the book’s personal, entertaining, and sympathetic portraits of faculty, students, parents, and others. The audience for this book will certainly include school teachers everywhere, teenagers, parents of teens, as well as anyone who appreciates that blend of humor and pathos with which the world of public education is drenched. The drive of the story is the narrator's struggle to become the best teacher he can be. The book is filled with advice for young teachers based upon experience of the writer, advice that will never be found in college methods classes. Another of John's recent books is Mum's the Word: Secrets of a Family. It is the story of his alcoholic father and the family's efforts to deal with or hide the fact. Though a serious treatment of the horrors of alcoholism, the book also entertains in its descriptions of the father during his best times and the humor of the family's attempts to create a façade for the outside world. All John's books are available as paperbacks and Kindle readers on Amazon, and also as paperbacks at Barnes & Noble. John's sixth book is, Growing Old in America: Notes from a Codger was released on June 15, 2014. John’s most recent book is a novel titled Resisting Gravity, A Ghost Story, published the summer of 2018 View all posts by John →
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