I wish I studied harder in school!
My folks were not pushy in the "gotta get ultra educated" department when my brother and I were groing up. Both of them came from blue-collar working-man families and they really didn't understand what it was like to be college educated and how that would affect a person's life. They were of the mindset that my brother and I would become who we would become when we were ready and if that meant that we go to a trade school, college, work in the family business or none of the above that was up to us. I thank them for their views on education but I sure as heck know where I will stand with my children when the time comes. Growing up, my brother and I had no plans to go to college so we took full advantage of meeting just the minimum school requirements for classwork. In the same breathe I can say that I loved school and most of the subjects taught, but I just didn't apply myself. All through school my best friend Don's parents were constantly cracking the whip on his sister and him about getting good grades, taking advanced classes and making sure they were on the honor roll. Both of them went on to go to college. As High School came to a close I became enamored with being a Marine and didn't even consider a "Plan B". All I had to do is run, duck and shoot a gun...guys, I can do that for crying out loud. My "in-action" in school was about to come full circle in about a month after I left High School.
I got to boot camp and was there only about 2 weeks when I got bitten by fire ants and medically discharged from the Marines. I went to the other branches of the armed services, but they too wanted nothing to do with me. I was crushed, humiliated, devistated and without a backup "Plan B" in line to fall back on.....no education! My father's business had taken a serious hit with the Savings and Loan debaucle of the late 80's so that wasn't an option either. Holy crap! I'm standing here holding a bag of "you know what" and no place to throw it......and guess who's fault that was? Mine.
I took the only option I had left and went to college. I couldn't start right off with the college level classes since I didn't take the prepatory classes in High School so guess what folks....I had to RETAKE 2 years worth of High School classes at the college prep. level JUST so I could start taking college level courses in my 3rd year! Ah, come on man! Talk about kicking yourself right in the jimmies. I wasted time, money and my pride. I made it through and gained a degree in Architectural Design and Drafting. While I was at college I did an internship with a local custom home designer and learned the Architecture trade so that when I graduated I started my own custom home design firm and thus began a 12 year career that I enjoyed tremendously, was very successful financially and emotionally as well as contributed to the community and my family's well being. Look ma, no hands. I proved to myself that I could do something if only I put my mind to it.
Hindsight is ALWAYS 20/20 and yet here is another example of it being proven to me. If only I could get a set of those 20/20 glasses that I could put on to see AHEAD of me once in a while....wow, that would be great!
For the kids in the back of the class......Here are your life lessons for the day: Lesson #1: ALWAYS have a Plan B, C and if you can, a Plan D in place.......Just in case things don't go your way. Lesson #2: Stay in school kids and don't just "get by"; apply yourselves. It's free and what else are you doing 7 hours a day at your age? Lesson #3: You may be down, but you don't have to be out for the count. You can come back stronger, leaner and meaner than ever before (if you want to)...It's gonna hurt for a while, but you can scratch your way out of just about any brown paper bag you get yourself into. You just gotta want it badly enough!
It's just great to know that you are so mature about all this Justin. If anyone can teach those lessons it's you. I need to put you on tour!! Great stuff and awesome wisdom!
Justin, I went down that same road many years ago. My parents were loving and provided for me, but they didn't value "education." When I brought "report cards" home for their signature Mother would glance at it and make no comment - good or bad - then sign it. I was so poor and unmotivated a student in high school that I wasn't allowed to take "Senior English" because that was considered a "College Prep" course. My GPA upon graduation was between a "D" and a "C." I did almost as poorly in my first 3 years of college. After 3 years of Army and marrying a great young lady I returned and got almost straight "A's" in my senior year. About 15 years later I my Major Advisor placed a "Doctoral Cowl" over my shoulders. TO TEACHERS: NEVER doubt that the "clod" seated in your classroom cannot someday be transformed into a "diamond."
Well Justin, having grown up as the daughter of a college professor perhaps I have the opposite problem - little respect for higher education. I agree with you that kids should apply themselves in school (and to everything they do, for that matter), but to my way of thinking you and your family possess something better than higher education: gumption! I always say the only things I learned in college that stuck with me were how to cuss and how to hold my liquor - neither of which is something to be proud of!
Yeah, some how some way we make it through this crazy world. I wonder what's on the other side? I hope there is no "Big Test" that I forgot to study for. ha ha ha. No, really! I'm not a good test taker.
Too bad WE can't learn without experience. One HAS to experience it first hand in order to learn lifes lesson's.
You have proven yourself over and over that you are an outside the box kind of person. I see you as the creator of the job those who are going to college will be seeking! There isn't anything you can't do! You are always learning new things, never stop.
Love ya, Mom