July 16, 2011

Personal Childhood Web

     The diagram above shows five important people that helped care for me as I was growing up. I will explain who each person is in detail in a clockwise direction as listed on the diagram. First and foremost, my dad and mom both showed me care and love by making sure I had everything I needed to succeed in life. My dad was always the one I could talk about anything that I was concerned about. Both provided food, shelter, education and helped guide me as I learned about my Christian faith/background in a private, Catholic school. My mom always made sure we had home-cooked meals, and took us to after-school activities. Both of my parents were involved in making sure I completed schoolwork, as well as cheering me on in softball games and sporting events. I never doubted that they cared about me deeply. In my adult years my parents continue to influence me as I hope to be a parent one day and enstill the same values, trust, and faith in my children as they have provided me.
     The next name on the diagram is "DziaDziu." This is the Polish translation of Grandpa. He is my father's father. The reason he is a part of my web is how much time he spent with me and my siblings as we grew up. He was our after-school caretaker. When school was over, DziaDziu would come get us from school and sometimes take us to McDonald's for Happy Meals. He also showed us respect and taught us manners and how to be polite. We learned about our Polish heritage through him and celebrated most holidays in a Polish style. I know I would not be the person I am today if I didn't have his guidance. A year ago my father passed away, so in honor of my dad, I asked DziaDziu to walk me down the aisle in my Wedding. At 92 years of age, despite walking with a cane, he walked with me so proudly that I will never forget his being there at such an important time in my life. (See Picture Below)
     My grandma in the diagram is my mom's mother. She was always proud of my sisters and I when we accomplished something in school or sports. She always told the story about when I first began to read. "I was in preschool and at four years old I picked up the newspaper and read about George Bush as president." Grandma took us to the mall almost every Saturday and treated us to Friendly's lunch. She was also very helpful when it came to buying our dresses for school dances. I remember her being most influential in my learning/continuing to read. She always had library books and would let me take books out as well. I always knew I was well-cared for and loved at Grandma's house. In my life now, it is so important for me to remain connected to my grandmother as she is in a nursing facility. Because she took such good care of me, I must now make the same effort in return to her as she had such an impact in my life.
     The final name on the diagram above is "Mrs. Reidy." She is an important community member, educator and family friend. As my fifth grade teacher, I learned many things from her. I also learned the importance of family at that time as my parents had a test of their marriage and Mrs. Reidy was there to listen to me as I struggled with understanding my parents' marital issues. My parents were able to work through their problems with the help of Mrs. Reidy guiding them as well as me and my sisters. It was evident to me even as a child that she cared deeply about the well-being of her students. She did her best to make sure everyone was happy and if not, took steps to help the child. In my adult years, I hope to a strong teacher and nurturer for my students as she was to me. I strive to be a compassionate person in my everyday teaching, having a special role in all of the students' lives.
DziaDziu walks me down the aisle, 4/9/11


  1. Clara,

    You have a very sweet family. They really look like responsible and sacrificing people as you told in your post. I wish I had an opportunity to meet your DziaDziu. I respect him for the things that he did for you. I also appreciate Mrs.Reidy for her being a wonderful educator. I am sure that you are a great teacher like her and have special roles in your students' lives.

  2. I am so impressed with you. I have to say you are an inspiration to me. I see that you have the love and support from great people. You are very talented in writing--I'm sure you are a fantastic teacher!

  3. Thank you both for your kind words. I was definitely very well cared for as I grew up.