Sunday, December 18, 2016

"Rachel was to become a very good schoolteacher and then to marry George Paden who would become an official in the Union National Bank of Pittsburgh . . . Great Aunt Racher started a 'Dame's School' for primary education, to which not only [Edith Schaeffer's] father would go, but also some of his brother and sisters, Aunt Rachel's own daughter Marion Paden, and later some of the grandchildren of the family, as well as 'outside children.' In this school Rachel must have given a fantastically good foundation for the children she taught were later to be higest in their classes in university, and still later, leading doctors and missionaries as well as leaders in other professions . . . Aunt Rachel gave her own daughter a good foundation in her Dame's School, and as language was one of her best subjects, it is not surprising that she went on to be extremely good in Arabic, speaking as well as reading the language. Cousin Marion went to Egypt under the United Presbyterian Board, and continued in girl's school teaching for forty years. . . . If you think Rachel was 'downtrodden' because her brilliance was limited to offering a very thorough education to a small number of children whom she gave a foundation that is rare in this day -- then, as grandmother would say, 'You have another think coming.' Certainly there have been things worth fighting for, and limitation have been unfair for women, but it is not all 'black and white.' If there were women for whom life was 'hell' in those days of many children, there are also women for whom life is 'hell' today in their places of 'freedom,' as they walk in and out of marriages with multiple divorces, and as they face untold disappointments and discouragements in offices and careers of a diversity of kinds. I'm not saying all women aren't supposed to have careers; Cousin Marion had a very satisfying and fulfilling career in her forty years of outstanding work in Alexandria, Egypt. But, the diversity of the career that the artwork of raising children and creating a continuity of family holds forth, is something that musn't be forgotten as we look at the The Tapestry of history" (Schaeffer 70-72). 
Schaeffer, Edith. The Tapestry: The Life and Times of Francis and Edith Schaeffer. World Books, 1984. 

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