Saturday, April 14, 2012

Rosetta was a "fountain of wisdom" - She just didn't know it

Rosetta considered herself an ordinary woman. Having begged to be allowed to go to high school and take a commercial course back in 1923 when most kids from poor families went to work as young as ten or twelve years old to help support the family, Rosetta and her sister Edna were the only ones of ten children who were able to convince their parents to allow them to continue their education.

That wasn't where her thirst for knowledge ended. She always was an avid reader and possessed a keen sense of what was obvious and what was right. 

Her grandson Scott said it best. When he enrolled in the engineering program at University of Alaska in Fairbanks he was definitely challenged. His preparation in math was beyond poor -- it was disastrous, so he had to work very hard to learn what he should have learned in high school. Many times he was ready to give up, but it was Rosetta to the rescue. Here is a small excerpt from what he wrote in Part II of Can We Come In and Laugh, Too?

"I always knew I could get re-energized by Grandma. The next year, I skipped the year of trigonometry and the year of geometry courses and went right into the full on three-semester Sequence Calculus course, My professors allowed me to make this quantum leap as I was already using some of the three untaken math courses in the engineering coursework.

Initially, I thought I was going to die. However, my twice per week calls to Grandma were just the right medicine for academic anxiety. She always found a way to remove my stress and replace it with hope and courage. It was a gift that she had, for which I am forever grateful. With her encouragement, I was able to hold my head above water in all those subjects and even got B and A grades in them."

As the years rolled by, Grandma was there just as she promised. The courses got a lot more difficult and I can assure you that she knew nothing about differential equations, fluid mechanics or properties of materials; however, she knew exactly what to say to point me in the right direction. With a loving dose of encouragement, I was recharged and ready to take on the world.
Even when Rosetta was an old woman, while her friends watched the "Soaps" on TV,  she loved to watch programs like Face the Nation and Meet the Press to keep up on what was happening in the world. She would tune to any geographical or historical program that caught her eye, and when a country or place was mentioned that she was unfamiliar with, Rosetta reached for the huge World Atlas on her coffee table and looked up every fact about it. She also treasured her National Geographic Magazines and kept many back issues handy to read and refer to.

Life wasn't always "smooth sailing" for her, but Rosetta managed to find the humor even when the situation was dire and went through life with a smile on her face. She was able to transfer the ability to overcome negativity to everyone she came in touch with.

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