An Ode to Parents
A couple weekends ago, Hillsdale College hosted Parent’s Weekend. This weekend was a time when parents came to Hillsdale, Michigan, visited their son or daughter, and experienced what it is like to live and study at the college. Parents spoke with their child’s professors, met with coaches, and gave their growing, young adult attention.
On first glance, and counter-intuitively, this weekend seemed to be centered on the college student. For many students, this weekend was full with the desire to please their parents and win over praise for their hard-work at school. For others, parents brought a reminder to place more attention on studies and avoid distractions. Regardless, parents during Parent’s Weekend surrounded their child with Love and blessings (money), boosting their confidence for the rest of the year. In this way, as parent’s weekend allowed parents to experience a little piece of their child’s reality, it gave parents more opportunities to help their children. The student seems to become the greatest benefactor from this weekend rather than it being a weekend solely for the parents.
However, Parent’s Weekend seems to be moreover a gift to the parents. In the short span of two days, parents resume some of their practices or duties they once had when their child lived under their roof; educating their child in knowledge through discussions, providing a place of comfort in the home, and nourishing them with food and drink. Parents had to hand over these responsibilities to the college. Parent’s Weekend provided parents with the opportunity to practice these duties and educate their child once more. In this way, Parent’s Weekend ensured the parents’ welcome at the college as it gives parents an opportunity to witness the passing on of their roles of education to the college.
As I sat by, jealously watching my classmates enjoy time with their parents, I started to pity myself for not being the attention of my parents, who were at that time taking care of my six other siblings in California. I felt as though it was my right as their child to be the center of attention on this weekend. I deserved a visit from them. However, later I realized just how selfish I had been. My parents do so much for me; they think and pray for me all the time, they text and call me, and they help me finance some of my adventures. And while I started realizing how much this weekend is more for comforting my parents in the passing of responsibilities in shaping my mind and heart from their hands to the college’s, I concluded that missing this weekend must have been much harder on my parents than on me. In the bigger picture, my parents were not able to witness the shaping of my character at this school and were left having to trust from what they understood of the college that I am in a good environment.
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Jessica De Gree
Jessica teaches 5th grade English and History as well as 11th grade Spanish III at a Great Hearts Academy in Glendale, AZ. In addition to teaching, she coaches JV girls basketball and is a writing tutor for The Classical Historian Online Academy. Jessica recently played basketball professionally in Tarragona, Spain, where she taught English ESL and tutored Classical Historian writing students. In 2018, she received her Bachelor's degree in English and Spanish from Hillsdale College, MI.