It’s Saturday morning and I have been reading an article by Mel Brooks. When he was asked, “What was the happiest part of your life?,” he said that it was his childhood from about 4 or 5 to 9 that was the most exciting, happiest, joyous life that anyone could experience.
When asked what happened at age 9, he said, “Homework!” And he went on to say, “Homework is a bad thing. It takes away precious minutes from your childhood.” And right there, I stopped reading. The word “Homework” hit me enough to put down the paper and think of my life with homework. It seems that all my memories of being 9 and on, are of doing homework. I remember carrying home my big notebook full of paper and pencils, along with four books, one for each of my classes. Homework was what kept me studying from the time I got home until supper, and then after doing supper dishes, until bedtime.
When I graduated from high school, I was extremely happy to get a full-time job without any homework. While all my friends went off to college, I went off to work. Of course, it was really so that I could have a paycheck. I was free to read any book I wanted to read. But it was always in the back of my mind that I would like to go to college. Growing up in a college town can do that to you. A piece of advice I was given by one of the families I babysat for was for me not to work my whole life through. They said that I should stop working at some point and go to college.
Then, along came the opportunity to get a job at Ohio Wesleyan that was only for nine months a year. I would be free all summer! That sounded great. My sister, Ann, had a job at the university and encouraged me to apply. So, I applied and found myself with a nine months-a-year job. Great! But what I also found was an opportunity to take classes, one each semester. I knew I could handle one class at a time because I would only have homework in one subject. So, I spent 12 years, from the first day of classes in 1977 to the last day of classes in the spring of 1988, being a non-traditional student. At that time, I graduated and stepped back into my wonderful years of not having to do any homework!
There ought to be an award for doing all your homework, or at least a certificate that could be tucked inside your diploma that says, “Congratulations!!!! No More Homework!”
Kay E. Conklin is a retired Delaware County recorder who served four terms. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a degree in sociology and anthropology.