My mom told me that she ran into Mrs. McGhee the other day. Ms. McGhee was not only my fifth grade teacher, but she also taught both of my sisters. Apparently, Mrs. McGhee recognized my mom and asked about her three daughters. After my mom gave her the update, Ms. McGhee sais something to the effect of, “I know that your daughters would go on to do great things.” Well, Sarah and Melissa may have gone one to do great things, but right now the law isn’t what I would classify as “great things.” Anyway, I just made me think for a minute about the great things that my sisters are doing. I am bragging on them a little bit for the sake of Ms. McGhee.
First, there is Sarah. She is a genius. She just got her PhD in Molecular Physiology, which most people have no idea understand even what the name means. She is getting ready to move to Boston, where she was accepted to do post-doctorate research at Harvard University’s medical school. That is just how smart she is. And I know that she is trying to do research that will actually be responsible for trying to make people healthier (even if I won’t understand all of those technical terms that she uses in the articles in which she writes about her research). Not only is she a genius, but she also happens to be the fittest person I know. I mean, the girl always was an athlete (her awards at BYU for her athletic and academic abilities are just too numerous to list, but she was after all, the NCAA Woman of the Year for the entire state of Utah). Now, she is running ten miles a day, biking thirty, then swimming a few more on top of that, every day. She runs marathons, does triathalons, including Half Ironman’s. It is only a matter of time until she does the full Ironman. She does more before 6:00 in the morning than I do all day.
Then there is Melissa. That girl has some guts. She quit the relative stability and safety of her job teaching sixth grade science to take a chance on what she really wants to do – save animals. That is brave. I mean, I may have won a poetry contest in third grade with my poem, “Loving Animals,” and have written a play on saving manatees for my gifted class that was performed for McArthur Elementary School, but Melissa has taken it to the next level. And because she took a risk, she is working for the next year to save the severely endangered Attwater Prairie Chicken . In fact, she is working at the Attwater Prairie Chicken Wildlife Refuge in Southeast Texas to try to save a bird that there are only fifty left of in the wild. It makes me happy for those Prairie Chickens, because they have a pretty compassionate advocate and ally in Melissa. I can’t think of anyone else that I would want trying to save me. I love that Melissa just took this huge risk to do something that she could be passionnate about.
So thank you Ms. McGhee for your excellent fifth grade instruction. Thank you also for pointing out what I always knew, that my sisters would turn out to do pretty remarkable things.