A Good Education

Back to school supplies now line the shelves of Kentucky stores, in preparation for a mid-August return to school.  As I loaded up a cart with pencils, glue sticks, crayons, and markers, I reminisced about how much my grandmother valued education.

“Stick to the books,” she used to say.  “A good education will stand to you in years to come.”

And she was right – my education was my ticket to America.

www.vintagerio.comImage Credit

After Irish people crossed the Atlantic to the New World during the 19th and 20th centuries, parents worked long hours to send their children to college.  A good education was prized above all else, seen as a ticket out of poverty by Irish Americans.

With four school aged children, my pile of school supplies quickly mounted. A smile spread across my face, as I remembered  an amusing anecdote from years ago, about how the Irish value education.

So here’s my little story, which I hope will bring a smile to your face too.


A wealthy Boston socialite hired an Irish maid who unfortunately was not
very diligent or attentive to her duties.   One day this fine lady accosted
Molly.  She took her gloved finger and wrote her name in the dust covering
the top of her grand piano.


“Look!” she exclaimed.  “I can write my name

in the dust.”


Molly just smiled and folded her arms.



“Ah yes, ma’am,” declared Molly.  “Isn’t education a

grand thing altogether.”


I bet if Molly had been fortunate enough to receive any schooling, she would have left this fine lady in the dust.



Slán agus beannacht leat!

(Goodbye and blessings)

Irish American Mom




  1. Hahaha. Nice article. Thank you : – )

  2. Grannymar says:

    Here too in Ireland the shops are laden with school uniforms and supplies. In Northern Ireland we are looking forward to the late summer Bank Holiday weekend – 25th/27th August, it will be the last break before Christmas.

    Molly was indeed a bright little button to come back with that answer!

    • Grannymar – Enjoy your last Bank Holiday weekend at the end of the month. The following weekend we will celebrate Labor Day here in the US, which will be our last break until Thanksgiving. Thanks so much for stopping by.

  3. Hi Mairead, I always consider the source of wisdom, not always from a book. The fellows I’ve grown to respect are the ones who are grounded, confident in their abilities, without feeling they are better than the rest. The socialite I’m sure was very educated and clueless, reminds me of my senator.

  4. Mairead, if dust is any indication of the occupants of a home being well educated, then I am well educated indeed! :)

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