The other day I asked my father about his newspaper subscriptions. "Do you get the paper delivered everyday?" I asked.
"No, not every day," he answered. "I usually get Wednesdays for Ma's sale papers and Saturdays. But when I know the honor rolls are coming out, I usually get them every day."
In addition to wanting to see the names of my niece and nephew in print, he explained that he looks for other names as well. Then he pointed out, in the honor rolls of three towns listed, the children of people he knows--some family, some friends. He gave backstories about siblings of these kids who had already graduated and whether or not those kids made frequent appearances on the high honors list or regular honors list. He was animated and joyful as he spoke because to my father, education still means something. Making the most of education opens doors; making the honor roll portends a good future.
As he folded the newspaper to put it away for safekeeping, I thought, surely, that has as much to do with my being a teacher as my love of school supplies.