Sunday, September 11, 2011


            Determination. Character. Integrity. Virtue. Dignity.

            These are the words that come to mind when I think of my eldest daughter Eleanor Louie. She's named after her grandmothers Eleanor and Mary Louie, and she is living up to this honor, and her grandmothers would be proud of her.

            I am struck every day by Eleanor's commitment to her school work, even to the point where she studies on Saturdays to be prepared every day for her classes. She pushes herself in school, taking AP level classes and studying Latin. When I met with her teachers a year ago on parent day, to a one they all raved about Eleanor's performance in their classes. Not only is she prepared, they said, they added that she is an eager bright presence in their classrooms.

            Eleanor is determined. She has run track—specializing as a sprinter and relay team member—since middle school. Most interestingly, although she has won awards for her performance, she is not a show-boater. She does her part for her team quietly and with care.

            I also admire Eleanor's choice of friends. Many are from our church. I never have a moment's worry when she is out. I also notice that she has no shortage of friends. This also speaks well of her character.

            Eleanor is also active is our church. She has gone on mission trips to Appalachia, doing hard, sweaty work in the summer heat. She also sings in the church choir. She's not a soloist—yet—but she gives her all for whatever team she is on.

            Last but not least, she's patient, especially with me, her Dad. I do know that I have had to raise my voice to her more than once or twice in nearly 18 years. She is my favorite eldest daughter, and I would not trade her for the world, the stars, or sight itself.

            If I were a teacher, coach, minister, or employer, I'd want Eleanor on my team, in my class, or at my company. She's smart, reliable, sociable, humble and kind—well rounded through and through—A winner.

(For my daughter's college admissions "brag sheet," a form teachers use to write recommendations.)