Nurture or Nature

For Christmas this year, Mom bought my children Chia Pets.  My children and i have always held cheap and crappy gifts in rather high regard, so these were met with genuine glee!  This week, amidst frantic preparations for final exams and her unexpected graduation*, The Girl called to let me know that the two presents had sprouted fine plumage…
Donkey, with nose goblins, and Scooby Doo

Donkey, with nose goblins, and Scooby Doo

Chia Mullets
Chia Mullets

And with unexpected delight, she shared that these fine works of botanical art both sprouted mullets.  Proving once and for all that you can take the redneck clay pot out of the Trailer Park, but can never truly shed Trailer Park roots… 

My life.  Modeled in clay and bean sprouts…

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* Given her international studies, The Girl fully expected that some of her credits earned abroad wouldn’t transfer, and that she’d be slaving away for another term.  Meeting with a guidance counselor, she was a bit surprised to learn that not only will she have enough credits to graduate this term, but she’ll have earned DUAL DEGREES in Arabic and International Studies (rather than the dual major she expected).  And with an Honors grade point average.  Her mother is bustin’ with pride!  As if i actually had anything to do with it…

The genetic connection

“We were born of the same parents, raised in the same environment, but if you put us in the same room, we simply couldn’t be any more different…”

A paraphrased comment about four siblings, uttered by a friend as we drank some beer, plotted organizational anarchy, and reflected on The Trailer Park Experience*. 

I’ve occasionally wondered how my three siblings and i could have been from the same genes, let alone species.  There is one obvious variable – my oldest sister and brother have different paternal genes.  Although i didn’t know this for many years, Mom had been married before, and the older siblings were, in fact, my half-brother and half-sister.

To apply controls to my observations, i should only look at my sister with the full compliment of shared genetics.  She is two years older, and left town after earning her PhD in Business – escaping to not only a warmer climate, but one that is about 2 hours by commercial air travel away from our hometown.  Smart.  She always was very smart…

T, my sister and fellow Trailer Park Refugee, is of my genes, but different.  She is accomplished – being a senior professional at a major university in the U.S. She demonstrated good instincts with her move 1,000 miles away to “escape the long arms of The Park”.  A diagnosed bipolar lesbian**, she is generally level for 75% of the time, but about once every 4 years, i am called upon to “deal with” nonlinear issues***.

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