Jan 12, 2003

I remember this one afternoon, when our family was new to DeKalb (Dad was still on St. Croix, but he’d join us in Illinois a few months later) and I was a freshman at the high school put into a sophomore geometry class. I came home to sit at the dining table to do my homework. My brothers were outside running through the cornfield behind the building or in the park across the street. Whatever the assignment, it had me frustrated and beaten down and in tears. My mother sat on a stool nearby and gently chided me, coaxed me, challenged me, consoled me. “Don’t give up,” she urged. “You can accomplish this task if you keep at it.”

I’ve been in tears many times since, confronted with some seemingly tough class assignment or work requirement, and every time I sit down to that DeKalb table and picture my mother on the stool nearby. This works, and I move through the moment. She taught me a valuable lesson.

On the phone yesterday, mom was telling me how frustrated she gets when learning some new technology. But this hasn’t stopped her from mastering her new Dell desktop computer, or even easily setting up new email accounts each time I change the Zuiker Chronicles Online configuration. Now she’s learning how to post messages to a new weblog I set up for my brothers, and figuring out how to use her new digital camera. Way to go, mom.

(By the way, any Zuiker family member or friend who wants a e-mail address should send me a message at

Anton Zuiker

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