February 18th, 2021

jim

Perseverance

In sixth grade, I was a student in Mrs. Fitzpatrick's class at Harrison Elementary School in Inkster, MI.

One day, substantially into the year, we received a new set of workbooks for our math textbook.   Each workbook had a label at the top of the textbook where Mrs. Fitzpatrick had typed our name.

Except that this time, Mrs. Fitzpatrick had gotten a little silly, and decided to give everyone a nickname along with our given names.    She read off everyone's name and nickname as we came forward to claim our workbooks.   

I don't remember anyone else's nickname.   I don't think any of them were mean-spirited or otherwise problematic.   (Of course, I was in sixth grade, and I wouldn't have been mature enough to notice if they wer.)

My nickname was "perseverance".   

I had absolutely no idea what the nickname meant.   It's not like that was a word that any of us in sixth grade (in the 70s) were tossing around on the playground.   So my first ask was to find a dictionary and figure out what that meant.

Apparently, I made quite an impression on people, even at that age.

Thinking about those days a lot today, as my "namesake" makes history.

https://www.nasa.gov/perseverance