The lessons that really matter in school aren’t found in the curriculum

“Do you remember any of them, Dad?”

He is sitting in his basement, surrounded by memories and his mind is heading back toward them, maybe toward you. He has unearthed a homeroom picture of 10c. Maybe you’re in that picture.

He is whip thin, dressed in a suit, standing at attention like the captain he was. You, perhaps, are sitting in the front row, or maybe standing in the back. You are dressed for your class picture. If you’re one of the girls, you have your best dress on and if you’re one of the boys, you may be wearing a blazer, or you may have borrowed your Dad’s bow tie. You are all smiling and the girls have their hands clasped in their laps, their ankles crossed. The boys are tall in the back row, they have their shoulders pulled back, looking like they are trying to imitate him.

“Do you remember any of them, Dad?” I ask again.

He is 90, sitting in his chair, pressure socks pulled up to his knees. He takes his glasses off to get a good look at you and your classmates. Holds the picture close to his eyes but the closer he gets, the more pixelated you become. He puts your picture back down, blinks.

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