My dad drove too fast sometimes. I know because his third job of four* during my middle school years awakened me at 3AM on most Sunday mornings. As the “folder/thrower” on a two or three man team, I was small enough to fit in the back of the car with hundreds of copies of the Louisville Courier-Journal newspaper as we made our way across more than 100 miles of a rural route in Southern Indiana north and west of Louisville.
“We’re motivatin’ now!” Dad would say as we entered Crawford County, fast on the last leg of our trek in effort to make it back to New Albany in time for church.
To Dad, “motivatin’ was Southern Indiana drawl for moving really fast—making good time.
I grew up in a family with a demographic profile very foreign to most ZCS students. Though adjusted by many decades, my brothers and I got the “G” by the “E” just as a great many ZCS kids get today. That is, I learned grit by example. My parents worked so hard and expected that we work hard to contribute whatever we could—so we did.
Grit by example was deeply motivating to me as a kid. Like most young people with engaged, positive, and resourceful dads, I worshipped mine. And everyone in our small city on the river knew my dad, too. They greeted him with a smile, and each of them seemed to meet my brothers and me with an expectation that we’d be sturdy people, too. And so, we were.
A buzz of recent years in and around the world of educating young people has focused on motivation, grit, resilience—and how best to ensure that very young children get “sturdy” in a host of important ways before we turn them loose on society. Check out this six-minute video clip about this topic of universal importance to all young people of all ages:https://www.ted.com/talks/angela_lee_duckworth_grit_the_power_of_passion_and_perseverance?language=en
G by E to all of you and your ZCS children. Thanks for choosing us for your child’s education during these critical developmental ages and stages of pre-K through grade 12. We are truly motivatin’ along into this new school year and are striving to partner with you in the best ways possible. Sure, we want to add the value of scholarship instilled in engaging ways, but we also chase after the ultimate goal of all parents, educating our kids in all ways essential to helping them grow into resilient, future-ready citizens.
G by E!
Superintendent of Schools
*1. Kroger Company butcher
2. Midnight to 8AM watchman at the New Albany Box and Basket Factory (on his one day off per week from Kroger)
3. Sunday rural route delivery – The Louisville Courier-Journal
4. Moonlighting at Joe Karem’s Meats after his day job at Kroger
5. Oh, and he took in work as a jackleg mechanic for extra cash and sports equipment for his four kids