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Word Count: 887
I sometimes wonder what the outcome would be if my mother had gone on past ninth grade She stopped riding the bus that took her to North High to go to work at a local hosiery mill in order to financially help her family But then I think about the rich attributes that may have gone undeveloped had she continued on to graduate My mothers home-situation wasnt supportive of going to school There was farm work at home canning berry-picking tending to younger siblings and the lights went out shortly after dusk Perhaps the greatest barrier between my mother and a formal education was the feeling of shame and embarrassment she felt from her clothest that she believed were inadequate Winter time was the worst she tells me The heavy cloth stocking she walked to elementary school in to keep warm were pure ugly She confesses she took them off sometimes before she entered shcool to avoid humiliation It pains me to see the little girl my mother loving words she was a good speller loving stories but being torn by familial duties and obligations that didnt support academics She tells me she wasnt pressured by her mother and father to quit school but she became frustrated for the first time after the first year in high school I imagine at the time quitting seemed the most painless decision to make Curiously my mothers lack of school experience doesnt hinder her ability to make money and survive Even though her labor is physcial and time-consuming it is richly rewarding My mother a survivor is the type that is hard to find as we approach the twenty-first century She lived through the great character builder the Great Depression of the 1930s which perhaps educated her enough for the rest of her life Learning to be content with less not to waste and forming a strong work ethic provided the basis for the
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