Chasing older sister in school
By Clif Knight
As a second child who followed in the footsteps of a studious, high-achieving older sister, I learned the lesson of struggling to keep pace with her when it came to scholastic achievement.
Mostly we had the same teachers from first grade through high school. Therefore, my younger siblings and I were encouraged to follow her example as a model from first grade through high school.
“If you’re half as good a student as Annelle was, “we’ll get along just fine, and you’ll learn a lot in my classroom,” her teachers would tell me.
I knew she was using that approach to get me to make a commitment to become one of her best students. What she didn’t realize was in my mind making a “B” or “C” was good enough for me. Grades were averaged every six weeks. I don’t recall Annelle ever bringing home a report card with any grade less than “A.”
Annelle had a passion for book learning that drove her to come out on top among all of her classmates. Attentive, hard worker and model student were words used to describe her work.
Me and my brothers, and a younger sister felt blessed to come home with nothing but passing grades and a few “B” and “A-” grades scattered in here and there. Teacher comments chided us to “work harder to reach our potential.”
Annelle read and studied every book she could get her hands on throughout her childhood while insisting she was not well suited for farm life. For the most part, she had her head in a book when us boys were working in the fields or doing our daily chores. Granted, we could’ve devoted more time to school work but chose instead to spend a large part of our leisure time playing pasture ball, shooting horseshoes, swimming, fishing, hunting and camping.
Despite passing up learning the skills of a farm worker and homemaker, Annelle went on to excel as a Christian mother of five children, a devoted homemaker and pursue a nursing career. Her passion for learning finally wore off on me when I was a senior in high school. My English teacher inspired me to pursue a career in journalism because of the interest and skill I demonstrated in her English composition and literature classes.