Today has, once again, been a day full of homework for me.. just as most Sundays are. I started reading a chapter in my Educational Psychology book that we’ll be going over this week and part of it is about socioeconomic status and how that has tendency to affect a student’s learning. One of the factors that can positively or negatively influence SES is the parents’ education. The tendency is that students with parent(s) who have a higher education will excel more. Now, obviously this isn’t the case every time, but overall, this is a major influence in SES. As I thought back over my high school years, it’s scary how accurate that was in my high school. I had friends who had parents who graduated from a 4-year college, 2-year college, high school, and also friends whose parents were HS drop outs. The difference among many of them was apparent. My mom graduated from high school and Dad graduated from a 4-year college. Both of them had more or less decided that Hannah WOULD go to college, hence their constant critiquing of my performance in high school in literally everything I did (regardless of whether it was related to academics or not). As I look back on some of those times that I wanted to slam the door in their faces, I realize that what they did was worth it. I knew it would be at the time as well, but I was waaaay too mad at them to admit to that. I’m also extremely thankful for my father’s constant hard work. He’s told me stories about playing football in college and balancing that with his school work, which was school work that he was sometimes VERY frustrated with (not that I don’t know how that is :-P ). Dad went through a lot with a lot in mind.. He’s always been a hard worker. He didn’t have an easy childhood growing up. Financially, there was no way he could have afforded college, but his extreme talent and hard work in football got him a full-ride to Franklin, and also set him up to play in the NAFL. He’s the reason I’m in college. He’s fitting the bill, he’s pushing me, and he’s inspiring me. I owe my father so much it’s unbelievable. We’ve gotten into our fair share of arguments, but he’s always been a rock in my life. I know that no matter what I do, he will always love me. It truly is outstanding how closely related earthly fathers can be related back to the one & only heavenly Father. Loving, compassionate, … still able to discipline.. Haha. I’m just so thankful for my dad’s hard work, because now, it’s all that I know. I’m not really an over-achiever.. I just really enjoy working myself to death. :-P It’s kinda crazy to me how great of a person my father truly is. Over the past two years I’ve really been watching him when he doesn’t think I am, and there’s a reoccurring theme: He’s selfless. I watched him during the summer chop & split wood every day just to use the woodstove as much as possible during the winter so we wouldn’t have to run the furnace. He’s incredible at saving money back as well. The biggest selfless act? He’s chosen to not retire until he’s paid for my schooling. That speaks volumes to me. He’s told me that I can transfer and change my major fifty times, but I am NOT allowed to quite college. When I asked him why he said it was because he wasn’t going to watch that much potential in one human being be wasted. He’s incredible. I love bragging on him because he’s so humble. :-) You’d never know that he’s been one of the top insurance agents in the state of Indiana for Farm Bureau. You’d never know that he played football in Europe while in the NAFL. You’d never know that Jim Helwig, the Ultimate Warrior (pro wrestler back in the 80’s & 90’s) still gives Dad credit for him getting to the point of where he is and still respects him like no other. You’d never know any of that plus many other things, because he’s so humble. This is the same man who played Barbie Dolls (okay, first recover from shock that Hannah Pate played with Barbies, and then gain composure after laughing at the fact that Gary Pate played with her), doll house, tea parties, and everything else with me. Of course he was the one who taught me how to shoot & hunt, how to play basketball, baseball, ride a bike, handle myself in an inner city (head on a swivel, always on Code Red Alert), reloading ammo, how to fish, how to drive (since age 11, thankyouverymuch), how to mow (haha :-) ).. There’s been so much. He was the one who first took me to Turkey Run & made me fall in love. He always set a rock-solid example for me in everything. He taught me to raise the bar and to KEEP raising that bar. Sure, there were times that I really thought I’d never live up to his standard, but I pushed through it (just like he’d taught me to). Looking back, no one has had so much influence on my life as he has. No one has made me madder than he has. No one has taught me as much as he has. No one has pushed me as hard as he has. And to think that reading Ed Psych brought all of this on. :-) Confirmation: Hannah has slight ADD. Haha. :-P The reason I’m at IWU today is because he pushed me in school because he knew I could do it. The cool thing is, he’s still a major inspiration for me, but I no longer need him pushing me constantly; I now push myself. I’m learning day-by-day how true it is that your history has an effect on your future. And for that.. I’m thankful.