February 12: Blog 5

Long after Grandpa retired from Northeastern, Grandpa continued to update his textbooks to reflect changing civil codes and developing technologies. He worked with his favorite PhD student to craft clever homework problems that got increasingly harder as students progressed through the problem sets. Grandpa was always sensitive to gear his teaching and his textbooks so that they stretched the best students while providing a solid foundation for the rest. I loved to listen to Grandpa’s calm, authoritative voice as he collaborated on the latest calculations. I loved to peek in at him as he worked at his tidy desk, making his edits and changes with palpable exactness.

Lost in the chaos and noise of young children, I found the intellectual oasis of Grandpa’s office reassuring. When I felt I didn’t have it in me to build one more block tower or take one more toddler to the toilet, seeing Grandpa serenely working reminded me that there was another world out there far from tantrums and Pampers. It reminded me that I was at home with young children because I wanted to be, and because I was lucky to have a choice.

Originally published at Landslide.



Melissa Leet | Author of Landslide

Born and raised outside of San Francisco, Melissa Leet currently lives in Chicago with her wonderful husband Ken, youngest son James, and their lovely Golden.