calculus will not stop her


Well, Tahija didn't pass calculus. She needed it to finish her A.A. degree at the U of Phoenix. She's gotten mostly A's and B's but this calc class was tough. She's less bummed than I feared though. Maybe she's had enough successes now that one setback doesn't knock her down like it used to.

Talking about it with her last night made me remember the day we registered for classes at Community College of Philadelphia, when the triplets were about eight months. We’d made it to financial aid and things looked good, until we gave Tahija’s birth date. At her age, she wasn’t eligible for any financial aid. Not a dollar.

Kaki and I had just gotten a joint checking account. I had the checkbook with me. Not sure how Kaki would react (she was earning most of the money then), not sure if we even had enough in there, I wrote out a check for that first semester. My heart was pounding, as when a message comes to me in meeting for worship.

Because I knew college was the gust that could carry her up off the cliffs that threatened to break her.

Now the college says her grants and loans are on hold until she pays for that calculus class. Last night, after we discussed other options (like transferring to a four-year school without the Associates degree), I said “We can pay for it.” I'm not sure how but we will. And she'll take the class again, pass it this time, and finally earn that degree more than ten years after starting it – her first degree of any kind.*

I have a feeling it won't be her last.

*The great American novelist and folklorist Zora Neale Hurston graduated high school at 27. What slowed her down was her mother dying young, leaving 13 year old Zora to help with the 3 younger children.

Seagull photo by Jalca. Click to see it larger and for more work by her. Notice the heart-shaped cliud behind the gull?