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June 11, 2012 - Mike Donahey
My youngest daughter is in Okinawa, Japan, well into her first week of a three month adventure. She and many other young college students are working on the island’s U.S. Marine Corps' base leading recreational activities and classroom exercises for children of military personnel.
My daughter is considering a career in education, so it is hoped the experience will giver her direction if it is, or is not the right choice. If yes, she will join her late grandmother, mother and other family in the profession. Emma, her late grandmother, started her career in 1928 at age 18, a recent high school graduate with additional instruction from a nearby college. Her assignment — teach children K-8th grade in a one room school house. Emma’s job description included arriving early to pump and then carry water into the school. On cold days she arrived earlier and fired up the wood-burning furnace. Emma either walked to work from the family farm or drove the family’s hand-cranked Model A or Model T. If driving, it was on dirt roads which easily turned to impassable muck from winter’s melt or rain.
Striking to me as we saw my daughter off at the airport was she would be traveling more than half-way around the word in approximately 18 hours or less. She would be sitting in a airplane with two levels for passengers capable of flying miles above the earth over sites in the USA, Canada and Pacific Ocean at incredible speeds. Her late grandmother, had she lived past her 99th year, would have been proud of her granddaughter embarking on a new adventure.