My mom went to college, but did so as woman circa 1950, so I assume that only went so far. And my dad nominally went to college as well, but did so on some kind of military ticket (he labored stateside as an enlisted Air Force cadet though the Korean War), and he didn't enjoy it and got out as soon as he could. As I prepared for my freshman year at UMaine - the same campus he'd attended - he broke it to me that that college would be a cold, hard, and boring time that I had to endure out of necessity. We were both surprised when I took to it much better than that. (And that there were no communal showers in the dorms any more. That was a real shocker to both of us. You don't know how long I spent that summer coming to terms with the idea of communal showers.)
Ricky went to a military college, so whatever; that's in a different plane of reality. Peter, then, may have been the first person in our particular lineage to attend a four-year program of the sort I'd recognize, though at a college I wouldn't otherwise have ever heard of, and with no particular post-graduate ambition. And finally, after my own graduation, there was full assumption from my own family that I was done with school forever, because what else was there? As I didn't have any college-based friendships close enough to survive the trauma of graduation, I had no reason not to assume that as well. And so it went.
Anyway, all this comes to mind now as I reflect on a conversation I had with Peter earlier this week. Amy and I spent Monday day-tripping through Maine, visiting members of my family where they each lived, since I wasn't going to see them on Christmas this year. For our third stop, we took middle-brother Peter and sister-in-law Janice out to dinner. While chatting, Peter asked about what Amy was up to academically, knowing only that she was "in college" in one way or another: "What's your major?" After Amy gave him a cogent summary of how she's working towards her master's degree in library science at a graduate program at Simmons, Peter paused to process this, and then said "So, that makes you a... junior, right?"
He nodded and made appropriate ah-yes-of-course noises when gracefully corrected, but I still think he has no concept of education past undergraduate school. And neither did I, up until I moved to Boston, years after my own graduation. So, yeah.