Sunday, August 28, 2011

Knowledge is Power...

A few months ago, in a moment of insane magnanimity, I promised both Phinnaeus and Marigold that when they reached grade ten I would buy them each their own laptop computer. The last three years of high school can make or break a person's education, and I believe that kids need all the tools they can use.  Both Phinnaeus and Marigold have inherited their mother's intelligence and intellectual curiosity, but in very different ways.  Marigold is the more quiet of the two, and her interests surprise me.  She loves the aesthetic arts, and yet at the same time she is brilliant in math.  Perhaps there is a correlation there.  Marigold loves learning and I think she will do something amazing with her life.  She often talks about being a doctor, and I think she can do it.  Phinnaeus is more the philosopher and loves to debate the pros and cons of various subjects.  He is a natural born lawyer or politician.

On Friday Phinnaeus and I met for lunch, and we ended up in a computer store.  Funny how that happens.  Anyway, the store had a great laptop computer on sale, so ... I bought it for him.  It was a great deal ~~ lots of memory, good graphics card, and included in the price was a wireless modem and free installation and setup by the Geek Squad.  Not bad.

Reading by the Fireside
George Paul Chalmers

I am a huge believer in education; it is the one thing we can give ourselves, and it is the one thing that cannot be taken away from us.  Knowledge indeed is power, and it is something we can spend our lifetime pursuing.  Education and knowledge are the keys to a better life, but more than that, they are the keys to a better person.  When Phinnaeus and I were having lunch, I said to him, "The root word of knowledge is 'know' and the root word of ignorance is 'ignore' ".  I advised him to take the opportunity of these next few years and fill his head with as much knowledge as he can; to open his mind and let all the knowledge flow in, not to ignore it.  Phinnaeus can sometimes tend to make snap judgments about things without first knowing all the facts.  I often have to remind him that, at the age of 15, he cannot possibly know every fact about every subject.  But to give him credit, if he is interested in something, he does do his research.  I also reminded him that the computer is for school, not for playing games or chatting on Facebook with the girls.

"But ... Oma ..."

Phinnaeus is a good kid, but like any 15 year-old, he is a diamond in the rough.  In another 15 years, he will probably be a very different person than he is now.  Funny how that happens.  I hope he continues to exercise his intellectual curiosity, and soaks up all the knowledge he possibly can.  Knowledge is power.

12 comments:

Mia said...

If he can't possibly know every fact about every subject then he should be a messageboard moderator.

Jo said...

My only hope is that both Marigold and Phinnaeus can recognize the depth of wisdom in their grandmother.

What a treasure you are for them!

Katy said...

I think we often boil school down to grades and the idea of where good marks will take us. But education is so much more than a simple means to an end, it sounds like you have shared this wisdom with your grandkids. What a wonderful gift you have given to Marigold and Phinnaeus.

Whitney Lee said...

What a fabulous gift! I certainly hope that I am vastly different than I was in my teens:) But of course the core of me is the same, and I'm sure it will be for Phinnaeus and Marigold. I think a love of knowledge, of learning, can be innate or absorbed by osmosis. I imagine you've spent enough time with them both that they will continue to learn, even if it is in between facebook chats.

Carol E. said...

What a wonderful post! And you are a wonderful Oma to them. They're lucky.

jojo said...

we should all have such a wonderful, supportive, involved Oma such as you. You are an inspiration to me to be a better g'ma and a better person. Thanks!

jennifer black said...

What a fabulous post.

I'd like to tweak my applause a bit, though. ;-) Even though the computer is fun and, let's face it, pretty necessary for this modern world, the best gift you gave Phinnaeus is the belief that education matters--coupled with the powerful statement that each of us is responsible for our own education, not just parents (and grandparents), not just schools, not just tests and grades. You have helped Phinnaes become a learner. Now that's a gift.

And the best knowledge of all.

the walking man said...

What they are at age 15 they will be at age 30 only more so because they ask better questions.

Kimberly said...

Is this a Schoolhouse Rock episode?
"Knowledge is power!"

PhilipH said...

One also has to trust and hope that knowledge doesn't bring too much power. We know the old adage...
Lucky to have a caring and generous Oma!

heartinsanfrancisco said...

You are a wonderful, caring grandmother, and there is truly nothing more worth spending money on than opening the world of knowledge to him and his sister. And since kids tend to equate caring with material goodies, you are reinforcing how much you love him. I'm very happy for you both.

Leslie: said...

You're a great Oma and I hope he knows just how lucky he is that you're in his life!