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I was not the most motivated student. In fact, I was engaged and thought I'd be a homemaker for the rest of my life at 17.  Like many intellectually gifted students, school was drudgery and I had low self-esteem. When I got scared right before the wedding, I ran away to a small college 800 miles from home to start fresh. I was poor, but there was a caring professor who mentored me (read others' posts about the importance of mentoring). She saw something in me that I didn't. Four years later, magna cum laude and many hours of being a waitress, a cashier, and a diet of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches later, it dawned on me. Why didn't anyone tell me I could have earned my college tuition and fees, room and board, books, etc., by studying and making straight A's when I was in middle and high school? I could have done it pretty easily, actually. Yes, mentoring and inspiring our children should be a fundamental goal of every pre-college teacher. Now when all of my... read more

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