Lessons from an Uneducated Masterby Evie Groch
An immigrant with broken English
stitching his way to tailoring mastery
cutting on and out bias
to pattern a life in America.
Education not bookish, diploma
not earned, certificate not awarded,
but possessing such undeniable smarts
that others held him in reverential awe.
With an algebraic work problem
I’d run to him, translate the poser,
get the answer in a second,
but not the how.
That’s your job, he said. Now
you can start with the end in mind.
Free 5th grade violin lessons
I feared to take.
No need to fear he reassured.
Always try; you’re not signing
up for life. I heeded and later
joined the orchestra, played
through the end of high school.
Dad, can you teach me how to drive?
I asked at fourteen, too young for a permit.
In his ’51 Chevy with a grey repair patch
he ignited my love for cars and driving.
Going down the street too slowly,
others honking at my crawl,
he’d say, Just ignore the honking.
Focus on your control.
When I mentor administrative
students today, his words slide
in my ear. I hear myself advising
them as he once advised me.
When the door’s ajar is when
you enter, even if you’re not ready.
For when you think you’re ready,
the door may not be open.
They always remember this when
they come back to visit and thank
me for his advice, make me smile,
and elate us both.
* * * * *
"Lessons from an Uneducated Master" was previously published by Kosmos Journal – Spring Gallery of Poets 3-17-22
Evie Groch, Ed.D. is a Field Supervisor/Mentor for new administrators in Graduate Schools of Education. Her opinion pieces, humor, poems, short stories, recipes, word challenges, and other articles have been widely published in The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Contra Costa Times, The Journal, Games Magazine, and many online venues. Many of her poems are in published anthologies. Her short stories, poems, and memoir pieces have won her recognition and awards. Her travelogues have been published online with Grand Circle Travel. The themes of travel, language, immigration, and justice are special for her.