Sarah’s Diary Episode Twenty-Eight

As Jenny approached today’s class, she had mixed emotions. This would be the last class where she read an excerpt from Sarah’s diary. While she had more to do in class, the diary had been a wonderful anchor for the lessons throughout the semester.

“Let me begin by saying this is the last time we’ll be covering Sarah’s diary in class. It’s been a great journey to see the lives of a very special family through the eyes of one of the children. Here are the diary entries for you to reflect on today.”

November 15, 1889  “We are really going to miss Elizabeth at Thanksgiving this year. It takes three days to get to Morgantown so it’s just not possible for her to get home for such a short stay. But she has been invited to a classmate’s house who lives in Morgantown. I’m glad she’s making friends.”

December 3, 1889  “I’m busy making gifts for Christmas. I hope everyone likes them.”

December 25, 1889  “Christmas was great! We played games all day and Mom and Dad put on a play for us. I’m so glad I got some more paper and pencils so I can begin next year’s diary.”

December 27, 1889  “My birthday. This was a special day for me. On our 16th birthday, Mom and Dad always share with each of us the story of our ancestor William Malcomb. William was born in England and was very creative. He was constantly developing new ideas. His ideas were threatening to the established powers of England, and he became persecuted for them. After spending some time in jail, William left for America and settled in the hills of West Virginia to pursue his ideas without persecution. Dad explained William’s vision of a place where ideas would flourish, where the lessons of creation would be passed from generation to generation. Mom and Dad were fulfilling that vision with the lessons they were teaching us.”

“That’s the last entry in Sarah’s diary for the year,” Jenny explained. “Unfortunately, we don’t have any of her other diaries. I would like to take a moment to reflect on what we learned from her diary.”

“We have become a society where learning has become specialized, and career focused. We are obsessed with credentials, and other entrapments of an educational establishment, like this University. But the Malcombs provided a learning environment like none I have ever seen.”

“Just imagine what our society would look like if we created similar learning environments in our families, in our social groups, in our churches, and yes, in our schools. The Malcombs weren’t preparing their children for jobs. They were preparing them to be curious about life, to support and admire everyone, to have faith in themselves, and to make a difference.”

“I have done research on each of the children and what they did as they became adults. I want to begin using those stories in future classes. But I want to challenge each of you to think of how you can nurture learning for its own sake and not just to make money.”

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“The greatest gifts you can give you children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.” – Denis Waitley (author and motivational speaker)

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