Tools I Learned At Astor

More than fifty years have passed since I was a boy residing at Astor Home.

The tools I learned and that have been with me throughout my journey since I left Astor have provided me with support, resource and a moral code to live by.

Pile of BooksThese tools included: patience, practice and a love for learning. The same tools it takes to master many subject areas and to become master in a profession (i.e., Astronaut, Doctor, Engineer, etc.). I became confident, open to learning, open to new things and respectful of wisdom.

These tools were not all obtained right away of course, and sometimes I intentionally ignored smart choices (the usual diversions of youth: breaking rules and regulations).

However, through trials, errors, successes and failures, these tools became useful: in my education, my development as a man, father and citizen. Astor left an indelible influence on me.

My primary and still most useful tool became a major lifetime resource:

Learning to use the Astor Library was instrumental and defined my sense of wonder, growth and my future. There were times and still are times, when I can’t stop reading. My scope had been broadened and amazing doors opened for me.

Violin and musicOne interesting behavior I continue to use, which I credit Astor for, is a lights-out tradition.

During those times, music or stories were played over the Public Announcement system.

We fell asleep listening to classical music or classic stories (Peter and the wolf); and Broadway Tunes (name a show I can sing you a song from it) and many Disney tunes.

Today, I sleep with a television or audio playlist set to very low volume, the stresses of the day are quickly and easily forgotten, I relax and get to sleep.

It brought lots of comfort to me then and continues to do so. I passed this along to my children and we all have a love and find enjoyment for all music genres stem!

Whenever I recall my life’s journey, sometimes I recollect complicated situations and have forgotten memories. However, I always feel the influence of Astor and how I relied on my tools to help me learn I still have much to learn to be The Master of myself!