Fredericksburg Parent

April 2018

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6 Fredericksburg Parent and Family • April 2018 PUBLISHER Leigh Anne Van Doren Tabitha & Jamie Nelle's mom EDITOR Chris Jones Quincy, Hayden & Olive's dad BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT & MARKETING Heidi DiEugenio, President, HD Solutions Duke & Dane's mom MEDIA & ADVERTISING DIRECTORS Julie Brosnan, twins Chris & Finn's mom Megan Walsh, Mia, Noelle, and Adelaide's mom DESIGN & PRODUCTION Cheryl Carter, President, Carter Creations Alex, Kate & Jackie's mom WEBMASTER Karen Charney Joshua & Spencer's mom SOCIAL MEDIA Brenda Sapanghila Archer, Maddox & Oliver's mom CALENDAR & COOL THINGS TO DO ELETTER Leigha Pecher Jake and Luke's mom EDUCATION ELETTER & EVENTS Debra Caffrey Aidan's mom INTERN Haley J Harkin parent fredericksburg & family Entrepreneur of the Year PROUD FOUNDING MEMBER ADVERTISING PHONE 540-429-3572 EMAIL CALENDAR & SOCIAL MEDIA E-MAIL EDITORIAL PHONE 540-429-3572 E-MAIL SNAIL MAIL P.O. Box 7884, Fred'bg, VA 22404 The publishers reserve the right to reject any advertisement, editorial or listing that does not meet the publication's standards. No part of this magazine may be reproduced with out permission. Listing and advertising rates are available upon request. Every effort has been made to assure the accuracy of the information con- tained herein, however, the publisher cannot guarantee such accuracy. Listings and advertisements are sub- ject to typographical errors, ommissions and/or change without notice. For terms and conditions please visit our website at © Copyright 2018 Nurture, Inc. All rights reserved. WRITTEN BY CHRIS JONES LIKE FredericksburgParent SIGN UP TWEET FredericksburgParent PIN fredparent FOLLOW @fredparentmagazine After high school, I attended Lord Fairfax Community College. That's where I met Bob Ashcom. Mr. Ashcom was my English Lit professor. He was a tall, 50-something-year-old white gen- tleman who wore horn-rimmed glasses and dressed like a law- yer (Outside of teaching, he was a huntsman who also owned an equestrian farm). He had an infectious smile and, being an author also, a love for the written word. It wasn't long before we took to one another. I was a teacher's dream—young and impressionable with an appetite for knowledge and a love for reading. One day, after assigning the class its final project for the semester, he pulled me aside and said, "I really enjoy read- ing your papers. Which author are you planning to do a liter- ary criticism on for your final paper?" I told him I was thinking about John Steinbeck or Mark Twain. "I want you to read Ralph Ellison," he said. "It's important." Prior to that, I had never so much as heard of Ralph Ellison, but I took the assignment because of the trust I had in him. Up until that point, with the exception of studying the Harlem Renaissance, I only read dead white men—Shakespeare, Keates, Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and others. The only black author I read was Zora Neale Hurston in eleventh grade. So I went to Amazon and ordered Invisible Man, Juneteenth and Shadow and Act. As I read through Ellison, I was wide-eyed. I had never read works of this magnitude to which I also felt such a personal connection. When I turned my paper in, I let Mr. Ashcom know that I didn't get through his three-book requirement, but instead wrote about two. "Did you at least read Invisible Man?" he asked? I told him that I had. "Good," he said. "I don't care that you didn't read three, I just wanted you to read the thing [Invisible Man]. It matters to you." I haven't seen Mr. Ashcom in over 20 years, but he taught me lessons through literature that no member of my family could have articulated about the world I was entering. And I think that's the hallmark of a good teacher—they can reach you using the tools that matter to you. I feel fortunate to have gone through all of my years of schooling with at least one teacher who was invested in me. Though I wasn't always a good student, my teachers recognized when I was underperforming and demanded more of me. It's something that didn't fully develop then, but that has shaped my work ethic today. It's the late bloomer in me. As a parent, this is why I do my best to get to know my kids' teachers and encourage them to be participatory in their education while at school. Teachers love to teach—the more eager the stu- dent the better—and I want my kids to be those students. I know the transformative influence of teachers and I want my kids to experience that too. To Bob Ashcom (and All Teachers) letter to the readers "Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world." — Malala Yousafzai

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