How Big Is Your World? Military Academy

How Big Is Your World? Military Academy

As a carefree youth my early Junior High School experience came crashing down.
I had received a failing grade in Spanish.
It meant little or nothing to me.
I had never met anyone that spoke this language called “Spanish”.
At that young age I was convinced that my teacher was trying to teach me a language that was from “outer space.”

My parents didn’t feel exactly the same way (my father was a Lt. Col. and my mother was a women Marine) and I was sent abruptly to a Military Academy for summer school.

It would allow me to make up for my misdeeds in failing Spanish.

I was given a uniform, rifle, boots and buckles to polish.

We all had a Resident Advisor, the advisor in the dormatory next to mine was abruptly dismissed during my summer stay because of sexual predation of residents in the dormitory next door.

I was barely a pre-teen and the Military summer school attendees were saluting this monster as he was being led off the military campus because of his misdeeds… It was in a crazy place during a turbulent time.

The Military experience was beneficial to me. The school had a greater teacher to student ratio and that allowed me to excel. I came home with above average grades……B+ and A’s.

My reflections of this time in my life continually return to “Spanish”. I knew nothing, I had met no Spaniard or spanish speaking person. What was this language thing?

When I returned from my experience…..Down the street were my kindred friends the “Lippi’s”. Dominick Lippi and a factory and his company sold chicken brooders all over the world.

It was there that I had heard of a place called Ecuador, they sold their chicken brooders in Ecuador and in that country they spoke “Spanish”.

The world started to open up. The world became larger than the community I called home.

Dominick and his family knew a world of which I knew nothing about.

Of the four thousand people that lived in my community very few knew anything outside our the county boundaries.

Eventually an exchange student from France came to my town, he spoke French! and it was proof positive that the world wasn’t flat and their were people that lived in far flung places.

Decades have passed and I still suffer for not having passed my Spanish class.

I did receive “A’s” in a class that no one had heard of in my community, it was called “Ecology” (1966).

I did receive “A’s and B’s “ in field biology courses, I banded birds with a noted ornithologist.

Burned in my memory was the fact that there was no experiential relationship with “Spanish”.

Who speaks Spanish? Where does it come from? Is it a “space language?”.

Today (50 years later) I relish the understanding of other people, the disparate populations that cover the earth.

The populations that …today, we encounter with great regularity.

It is a simple testament that these are the people that fuel our economy in so many ways.

The Statue of Liberty serves as a visual reminder that this nation is refueled by the continued influx of immigrants that strive and renew our economy. They replace a narrow minded population that has grown old, uninspired and lazy.

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