19th Century Thinking

The first year class of Osgoode Hall Law Schoo...While most of Dad’s thinking was very good, he did occasionally make a mistake.  One of the big ones was the expectations he had for the futures of his daughters, Lindy and myself.

When I was six years old, I announced to my daddy that I wanted to go to law school when I grew up. Dad exclaimed

Oh no. Girls don’t go to law school.

Being a persistent little girl (a necessary quality for a lawyer), I found his law school yearbook and pointed out two women.  My dad said

Oh, those are the girls who weren’t pretty enough to get a husband in college.

Needless to say, I hung the attorney dream up in the far reaches of the closet.

In college, I was merrily going on my way taking my liberal arts courses (as Dad had requested) when Dad came to me and said

Don’t you think you should take some education classes and get your teaching degree in case your husband dies and you have to go to work?

Once again, I did what Dad told me and got my teaching credentials.

I started teaching as soon as I got out of college, and although I had hoped for my first husband to appear riding a white horse and carrying big bags of gold, he never did.  I have worked all my life and was a single mother supporting my son after I was divorced from my first husband.

Luckily I have been able to secure decent jobs that paid fairly well; however, it certainly was not as a result of my dad’s advice.

To his credit, after several years of observing Lindy and me working on a daily basis, Dad apologized to me and said

I never raised you for the way things are now.  I never thought you would be working every day.  The world changed while I wasn’t looking. I’m sorry I didn’t encourage you to go to law school.

Lindy and I believe that things happen for a reason and never in a million years would I change the life I have lived.  Later in my life, teaching allowed me to take my summers and care for my dad when he was sick. Those are memories I would not trade for any law degree.

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