The College Money Guys - May 2019

MAY 2019

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A LESSON IN LEARNING WHAT MY MOM TAUGHT ME

With Mother’s Day fast approaching, I can’t help but reflect on how much my mother has shaped where I am today. From my role as assistant director of admissions at Rice University to my duties today as the branch manager of our Houston office, much of my career has been about passing on my love of learning. I owe it to my mother for fostering that love in the first place. development and family issues, starting a private therapist practice in 1986. So naturally, Freud and Young were household names for my siblings and me growing up. Our mother did her best to try to keep her work and home life separate, but I still picked up a fascination for the workings of the human mind. Rather than focusing her children on one area of knowledge, our mother wanted to give us the tools to be lifelong learners. She did this leading by example. From an early age, she read to my siblings and me before we went to bed. As we got older, she introduced us to other classic works, like “The Count of Monte Cristo.” She also made it clear to us that being good students wasn’t always the same as being good learners. To our mother, it was more important that we actually understood information rather than just cramming it in our heads for a test. Thanks to her efforts, all four of her kids remained lifelong learners. The fruits of her labor became clear when we moved out of Hallettsville for the big city. After graduating from Rice, my mother went on to earn her master’s degree in child

During my high school years, my dad’s work brought us to Dallas. This means I went from a school that had a graduating class of 34 to one that was 3,500. I wasn’t complaining; the larger class sizes also meant there were far more options and extracurriculars than I was used to in little Hallettsville. My first semester, I didn’t sign up for a single period of study hall, taking part in everything from theater to football. What may have been a nightmare schedule for someone else was a dream come true for me. This love of learning was one of the greatest gifts my mother gave me, and it’s been amazing to pass that same gift down to my kids. One of my sons is finishing up a Ph.D. in music, while the other has become a choir director. My youngest has focused her energy toward politics, using her sharp mind to shape the world. Meanwhile, I’ve been rediscovering some of my favorite books — I just finished listening to “The Count of Monte Cristo” through Audible.

Nowadays, my mother is still in Dallas, continuing her work providing counseling to those who need it. She loves gardening and remains one of the wisest people I’ve ever met. She has a particular observation about maturity that I’m rather fond of. To paraphrase her, “Up until age 25, you think you have an unlimited amount of life. Until age 35, you think you have an unlimited amount of money. At 50, you realize there isn’t an unlimited amount of forgiveness. And at 70, you realize life isn’t about what you do but whose lives you impact.”

Looking back on my life, it’s safe to say you’ve had an incredible impact on me, Mom.

Happy Mother’s Day,

–K u rt Geodecke

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