March 13 and 15, 1971 N-M Northwestern
I think we've all had a school project like this at one time or another. In this case, third and fourth graders lay out their family trees or relate sometimes humorous anecdotes of their family life. Some of the stories described here sound like my own grandparents' struggles. Whatever the nationality, the lesson to be taken away here seems to be that, for all our desires to be absorbed into the American melting pot and assimilate into this culture, our forebearers' struggles resound with a universality that is all too familiar to many of us. But as we move forward to newer generations, my fear is that more and more of these stories are ignored or glossed over, as you will, if they're even addressed at all. My suspicion is that, if kids today are given the same project by their teachers, their parents likely are not even aware of their heritage to give the kid a running start. What's that famous quote? I may be paraphrasing this, but it's something like "You don't know where you're going if you don't know where you've been." I most likely sound like a crotchety old man when I say this, but I fear it is true.