The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

My Daughter Kennedy Makes News!

Posted on | March 9, 2011 | 22 Comments

She was interviewed on video by the Hagerstown Herald-Mail at the Washington County Public Schools Teacher Recruitment Fair (click the image to watch):

“I want to be a teacher because I think that every child deserves a good quality education and I think that I’ve been prepared for that through my university and the experiences I’ve had. Also, I’ve known this since I was in kindergarten. I loved kindergarten when I was in it. I’ve had Kindergarten Barbie and I taught my little siblings how to different things. So I’ve always known that I wanted to be a teacher.”

The print version of the article is also online. You’ll notice that her surname has changed, having gotten married in July. She is 21 years old and due to graduate with top honors from Frostburg State University in May. She graduated high school at age 16, worked her way through college, spent a year in Argentina in a full-immersion Spanish-language program, and has only had one “B” in her entire collegiate career.

Kindergarten was the only grade of public school Kennedy attended. Due to various problems — e.g., an obscenely disruptive child was placed into her class and couldn’t be expelled, even after cussing out the teacher to her face — we decided to send her to church school after that. But the academic quality of the church school wasn’t impressive. One day when she was near the end of second grade, I tried a little pop quiz: “Kennedy, what’s seven times eight.” It took about five seconds for her to answer, and I realized she hadn’t been drilled in her multiplication tables.

So then began the home-schooling, and my wife did such an excellent job that, by the time Kennedy was 13, she was doing math at a level where we were unable to adequately supervise her work. Kennedy went online, found a Christian academy 30 miles away and then did a little presentation for her mother and me, explaining why she should be enrolled there.

At age 14, Kennedy became the youngest member of the sophomore class at Highland View Academy and younger than all but two of the freshmen that year. She sang in the choir and performed in the drama group, worked on the staff of the student newspaper, even played one season of volleyball, and was an honors graduate. Oh: And she won the heart of the cutest boy in school, the captain of the soccer team, who is now her husband (and who will start law school in the fall).

All in all, Kennedy is extraordinary and, as she says, she helped teach her five younger siblings. As a matter of fact, she was present for the birth of her two youngest siblings. (The homeschooling version of “sex education.”) In addition to her astonishing intelligence — a hereditary trait, of course — Kennedy has an outstanding work ethic and has always been, from a very young age, an exceptionally conscientious child.

That last trait, I must say, she clearly got from Mrs. Other McCain. I’m something of a scatterbrain myself, suffering a chronic lack of organization for which I compensate with raw energy. To give you an idea of what I mean: Kennedy sent me that video via Facebook on Saturday, and I didn’t even know she’d sent it until Mrs. Other McCain told me about it Tuesday.

Sometimes disorganization looks like neglect, and I hope my daughter will forgive me for the oversight in not having blogged about this story earlier.

Hey, Charlie Sheen was melting downI was busy!


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