What’s it like to grow up in an academic household?

I would say tough. With two PhDs roaming the house, I lived under the intelligence microscope. It started when my parents expunged the word “ain’t” from my vocabulary during first grade. Then in second grade, I had to stay in my room for an hour after school and read. I usually read the same things over and over. In fifth grade, the band teacher visited our classroom with a trumpet student. I immediately went home and proclaimed my love for the trombone. My euphoria was depleted when I was handed a violin and played Mozart under my KISS posters.

It sounds like everyone else’s household does it not? Yes and no. I was not the A+ student. I had more interest in playing with my friends than reading an hour a day. Add to the fact that my heroes were four dudes dressed up in leather, covered in black and white face paint and had pyrotechnics exploding behind them. Nevertheless, my parents had an innate ability to be educators of art, culinary and travel. I think I was the only one in class taken to Kabuki Theater when I was eight. Let’s also add that I was living in England, while my stepfather was on sabbatical, at the age of ten and then in France at the age of fourteen four years later. The spoils of academia were great but so were the pressures to perform as well. Especially when I was enrolled in Prep School where the intensity of the class load added to the mix of the studious household. I needed an escape from time to time and music was there for me. It was an interest I could share with others without the use heavy words such as “benevolent.”

I wouldn’t change growing up in said household but I wished my parents had less of an insular life. Academics tend to live in a protective bubble where the social network doesn’t venture too far away from one’s interests. I don’t see to many PhDs hanging out with the plumbers. Not that they would have shared interests but I’m using the extreme that educators live amongst the commune of themselves. The Achilles heel to my upbringing was academics don’t have is the inherent skill set to play in the corporate world, which is where I went with my graphic design degree. My upbringing didn’t prepare me for the issues I would face after college. Even if my mom and stepfather were the greatest parents in the world, they’d still fall short preparing me for the design world but they didn’t. They took me to Europe and exposed me to art, which have both had a profound impact upon my life and my story written inside I’m a Fan.

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