Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Failure (03/01/04)
TITLE: The Dream Is Dead
By Freda Douglas
LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
SEND A PRIVATE COMMENT
SEND ARTICLE TO A FRIEND
Starting early in my life I developed the desire to further my education. First, it was all about becoming a nurse. My doctor put an end to that desire. I had had problems with my ears ever since I had scarlet fever when I was 10 years old. The doctor said that chronic condition had sapped my strength and I would not be able to withstand the rigors of nursing training.
` O.K. Now I had another desire to fulfill. I would be a teacher. I’d always liked school. I just knew I would do well as a teacher, instilling my love of learning in my students. My dad told me if I could get on the honor role he would find the money (which was scarce in our family), to do two things for me. He would buy me a new piano (ours had a flat F key that couldn’t be fixed) and he would see to it I attended college.
Now all of a sudden, my path was laid out for me. If Daddy said to get on the honor roll, I would do him one better. I would graduate with the top honor. I studied diligently, aced every test I ever took, ignored any social life I might have had, and it paid off. I became the best – I became valedictorian.
Then came the night of graduation. I stood in the school hall, prior to the processional, thinking about my glorious future. We students stood in the center of the wide hallway, lined up in pairs. Proud parents lined the walls. Then Professor DeWald, our principal, went up to Daddy and said, “Alfred (everybody else called him Dutch), your daughter doesn’t need to go to college. She has enough education already.”
I heard every word he said, and I knew Daddy was just old fashioned enough to believe what he had been told. I had failed. Despite, or maybe because of, my diligence and high grades, I had failed to convey my dream to other than myself.