Blog Post Number Five, Written: 05-18-2021 Uploaded: 02-18-2022
I am the oldest of three brothers. Of my two younger brothers, one just graduating high school, the other is just starting high school. My schooling career is a little checkered. Early on I did very well. Everything from kindergarten up to and including 6th grade went very well. I had teachers that thought I was some flavor of special, and I was tested a couple of times. When I was tested in sixth grade, there was a “gifted program” test. With a maximum of 200 points, with a minimum of 160 points to enter the program. I scored 159 points and was denied entry to the program, I’m still sour about that one. Compounded by some other personal and family problems, I took a big dip in seventh and eighth grade. I actually failed eighth grade, but due to a typing mistake made by my math teacher, where I was given 336 points on a 50-point assignment instead of the 36 points I had earned. That was enough to drag my grade up from a high F to a low B.
That was my wake-up call. I managed to advance, and not get held back and I worked my butt off in high school. I took all the advanced classes that my schedule would let me. I graduated 9th in the class (my wife was 3rd. and enjoys reminding me.) I took a bunch of double credit classes that were worth both high school and college credit. I had 20 credits done before I graduated high school. I claimed more than half a dozen significant scholarships too. I wrote letters and essays for a bunch of them, I applied to scholarships like it was a full-time job. I raked in enough in scholarships to pay for food, gasoline, and textbooks for all five semesters I was in college. Once in college, I stacked on as many credits as they would let me. I actually had to sign waivers to take as many credits at once as I did. I got three associate’s degrees, in five semesters. The first semester I took 24 credits, the second semester I did 28 credits. I got 12 in over the summer-long half-semester, then I took 21 credits in my third semester 19 and 17 in my fourth and fifth semesters. In the time it takes most college students to get one, I got three degrees and started applying for jobs like mad afterward. Obviously, at the time I was busy with school and didn’t get much writing done, but that’s not the point of this rant.
Before I was old enough to drink, I had three degrees, no student debt, and a job working on commercial airplanes that made more money than my father ever had in his life. I was rather proud of that at the time, and I posed a challenge to my younger brothers. “Do better than me.” At the time the middle brother was in 7th grade, and the youngest was only in 3rd grade. But none the less, as an attempt to motivate them, inspire them, as well as a way for me to brag about all the certifications, degrees, and licenses I had obtained during my self-imposed trial by fire. Now that one has started his college-related torture, my challenge might actually be working. He’s got just as many if not more college credits done before he graduated than I had, and while he might not be taking as many credits, or getting as many licenses, he seems to have a better college to employment plan and might make more base pay then I did. I’m proud of my siblings.
So now, my point is. You can do it. You can do the thing. As it was happening, I wasn’t sure if I could do what I did, but I managed. Don’t stop, never give up. even if it seems impossible or unreasonable/unrealistic, it might just be doable. The human body, the human mind, the spirit, and willpower, can be much more than you think they are. I am not telling anyone to bite off more than they can chew, but I am telling you, and whoever else reads this, challenge yourself, push yourself, try harder, do one more rep, run one more mile, you can do it, I believe in you. You can do the thing. Look at the entirety of human achievement, not just my achievements in college, employment and publication, but all of what humans have done ever. They have done all these great things, and you are human too, you can do the things too. And lastly ‘git sum’.