Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Daddy's girl

This week I read an outstanding essay by one of my Comp 1 students.  She wrote about accompanying her father to a demonstration at the United Nations in 1993, commemorating the anniversary of a massacre in Cuba in 1962.  The student wrote passionately about her father, his love of politics, and her eventual fervor for politics as well.  Her career goal is to become a lawyer, and a politician.  I've never had a student aspire to a political career before, and I think she'll be great!  She ended her essay with "the little girl . . . waiting for the next opportunity to make her daddy proud."

This reminded me of an essay we read in Comp 1 by Sandra Cisneros, entitled "Only Daughter."  Cisneros grew up with six brothers and strove to please, impress and gain the attention of her dad her whole life.  With all the awards and accolades she has received for her writing, she notes "the best thing" that happened one year was when her dad wanted copies of her story for the family.

I too wanted to make my dad proud of me.  There is a unique bond between fathers and daughters.  The competition and antagonism that sometimes exists between mothers and daughters is absent.  We daughters, most of us, love our dads fiercely and want their approval.  So when I was deciding on a major in college, I chose psychology -- the subject my dad taught at the very college I attended - Cal State Northridge.  Fast forward 20 years.  After I decided I wanted to get a master's degree, and possibly teach, I again thought I would major in psychology.  But a friend reminded me - "Katie, you love English.  You love to read, and you love to write."  Duh!  So I earned a master's degree in English Literature, and now teach English at a community college . . . just as my mom did for about 20 years.  It turns out, I'm mommy's girl too!

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