Sunday, December 6, 2015

In which I discover how Sly had to undermine Maria, too, my beautiful, sweet, smart niece - he just couldn't stand for someone else to be smart

I made sure to sit next my niece, Maria, who just graduated from college with a BA in psychology, at Sly's funeral dinner.

1. I didn't want to be anywhere near Ted
2. I like my niece. She is cool.

We drank our trashy sweet fruity drinks out of the plastic cups that leaked all over the table and talked about her ambitions and plans. What was she going to do now?

She didn't know. "I started as a biology major because I wanted to be a vet," she said.

"So why did you change your major?" I asked.

She hesitated. "Grandpop said he didn't think I could handle the curriculum in vet school," she admitted.

Whoa. First, this young woman was a Bright Futures scholarship winner. She got good grades, she worked hard, she was more than capable.

Second - all I ever got from my grandparents was support and enthusiasm and praise for how wonderful I was.

Except after college when my grandma J worried I would never get married and wrote letters to me suggesting that I marry a "widower who needs help raising his young children."

But school wise? Nothing but excitement. I was the first one of the grandkids to go to college and my grandparents did not go past eighth grade, so perhaps, unlike Sly, who had a PhD, they were not qualified to judge, but ---

Sly's PhD was in English and he had spent his career at a school that was more or less a community college. He was not teaching kids like Maria who wanted to be vets. I don't know that he was qualified to comment on her ability to handle vet school.

Let's remember, this is the man who maintained that five times negative five was zero.

Sly might have known the deal about about minor English poets, but he was not a math and science guy.

Maria changed her major because her own grandfather destroyed her confidence.

Have I mentioned that if Sly were buried (he was cremated) that I would want to dig him up just to slap him?

Then Maria made the mistake of telling Sly that maybe she would like to be a teacher. Maria would be a fabulous teacher. She was interested in elementary school. She is smart and she is nice and she smiles and little kids like nice people who smile. She is super patient - I have not ever seen her lose her temper with Ted'sSon, who is disabled and can be a handful. Instead, Maria is sweet and patient and kind to Ted'sSon.

She would be an excellent teacher.

Sly told her she would be wasting her potential as a teacher.

1. Sly was a teacher!
2. Sly didn't think Maria was smart enough to be a vet - but he thought she was too smart to be a teacher?
3. Since when is it a waste of being smart to be a teacher? Who wants their kids to have dumb teachers? I don't even have children and I want smart teachers!

I am getting angry all over again at Sly and he has been dead for months now. What kind of jerk treats his own grandchildren like that?


  1. Don't be a teacher unless you want to be crapped on your whole career. Sorry. :(

    1. She's decided to go into social work instead. That will be much easier.

  2. I find people fascinating but don't really understand how some can be so mean especially under the guise of giving advice.

    OK, I'll admit the college Sly was tenured at may not be top tier but I don't quite place it at the community college level. Disclaimer - Daughter is a 2011 graduate of this university.
    That said I admit I wouldn't recommend it to any one for a host of reasons.

    1. I'm sorry, Liz. I am a bitch! That was just the most insulting thing I could think of to say about Sly, who was always complaining that the other faculty were such idiots. I wanted to ask him, "If you're so fabulous then, and so much better than your colleagues, why are you there?"

    2. As in, it was not about the school - it was about Sly.

    3. No offense taken. I have found that you and I think a lot alike. I probably would have said the same thing.

  3. I'm trying to look on the bright side...Sly was a S.O.B., but he did set up a trust for his grandchildren. I hope Maria can eventually use the money to set herself up in her chose career.


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