|classroom - wikimedia commons|
“The other day we had this spelling test, and the teacher she asked me how to spell “government” and I did it right, and the kids all laughed.” Thomas, he’s 13 now and getting tall for his age so he stands up straight and shakes his head, like he isn’t going anywhere.
Now I had to sit that boy down because something didn’t sound right about that. I said, “Don’t you be making up stories, boy,” because I couldn’t believe some young feller didn’t want to grow up to be a doctor or lawyer or even President, especially when they are as smart as my Thomas. We don't need any empty classrooms when we pay all those taxes for children to go to school and then people make fun of it.
“No Granny, they say their folks tell them going to school don’t make no difference, and some of them they even make fun of the President going to school. Besides you didn’t finish all the way through school, and you know everything you need to and you and Grandpa are doing okay. So why should I have to finish school when it won’t matter anyway and people start making fun like that?”
Well, it takes a lot for Granny to cry, and I have to tell you I did in my heart, right there and then, because since that feller was real little, we been reading to him and loving him and telling him he could grow up to be anything he wanted and now he’s telling me it don’t matter.
But then I get real mad when I start thinking about it because that pointy-headed liberal talk was something someone said a long time ago, and he got caught for being a crook. He started all this and now people are doing it again, and I wonder what they're hiding. But they're hurting my Thomas when they do that, and I thought I gotta stop that kind of talk, at least around here.
So I went down to that child’s school with him here in Cloutierville, because I was real mad, and I went up to that teacher and all those kids and I says, “I ain’t got much education for school and all, but I sure know that things are getting harder and harder to figure these days. Even Walmart makes you fill out those long papers just to get a job. And when old Doctor Spencer kicks the bucket, then who will take care of Granny if there aren’t any doctors, and who’s going to run the country if we don’t have folks who can read?”
Right then this little girl gets right out of her seat and says, “I will.” And the teacher smiled, because she knows I'm right and so does Thomas after I finished talking.