Grandmother - Alice This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     Mine is hard-covered with inspirational words speckled over the front of the purple facade. Hers is tattered and leather-bound. As different as the covers are, these journals contain many of the same thoughts, quotes, and personal revelations collected over our very different lifetimes.

We recognized our connection by accident. I was spending the weekend at my grandmother’s house and although I was only visiting for a few days, I couldn’t part with my journal. I continued my habit of hiding it under my pillow, and was horrified when my grandmother discovered it as she made my bed. I was embarrassed that she had found my collection of literary treasures but instead of teasing me, my grandmother brought me to her bedroom, dug deep into her drawer, and brought out her own journal.

That night, we read through some entries, mine gathered during the past few years and hers from the past few decades. We laughed at funny stories, cried at heartbreaks, and marveled at our similarities.

I was thrilled to find a friend who embraced this love of self-reflection and quote collecting. We were dumfounded when we saw that we both had the exact same quote by Edgar Allan Poe about the truth of experience.

My grandmother is an icon for me. Her accomplishments inspire me to achieve my dreams. She is a published doctor of education who raised six children. While her mind is filled with knowledge and profound thoughts, she chooses her language carefully and never wastes a breath on an unkind or degrading word.

The connection my grandmother and I share goes beyond our love of poetry and life realizations. Although my grandmother has a Ph.D. who literally wrote the book on education, she has never considered her educational journey complete. She constantly reminds me that the world is her teacher, and that she will continue to be a student for the rest of her life. I respect and admire her for so many things, but perhaps it is her perspective on learning that I find most inspiring.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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