School Daze

Although I now understand the value of a good education I was not always of that mindset. I made enough excuses to miss school along the way that my mother told me once that I was going to school if she had to call an ambulance to take me. The farther along I got in school the less I liked going. I don't really know why but I still get anxious when fall starts getting closer. I was a horrible student in high school and went to different schools for ninth, tenth and eleventh grades. I had few friends and the school I attended my junior year was huge, I was lost there. All I wanted to do was get a job since I had no real direction and no chance of going to college. The first day of my senior year I walked into the auditorium where some sort of senior rally was going on. There were somewhere near two thousand students there and it was easy to get lost in the crowd, which was my specialty anyway. After sitting there listening to the Rah Rah stuff for a while I got up and walked straight to the guidance councilor’s office. I found out they had a full night school program where you could earn your diploma, so I got all the paperwork. All I needed to do now was go and sell Mom on my plan. I signed up for night school promising her I would graduate, and found a full time job. I spent the next year working all day and going to school four hours a night five nights a week and doing homework in my spare time. In a very unceremonious ceremony the mailman walked up the front steps and delivered my diploma in a manila envelope. 

I was on my way…to working a lot of hours and walking into a ready made family at nineteen years old. I continued this routine until I completely missed my thirties. I know I was there; raising my daughters, coaching, volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters and working, mostly staying busy and not dealing with who I was. I finally decided at forty that it was time to go back to school, so I spent the next three years working all day and going to school at night…wait a minute, this sounds familiar to me. The first thing I had to do is learn how to be a student and for the first time in my life I made the honor roll with a 4.0 GPA. At forty years old and was finally able to cut the list out of the paper and send it to my Mom, sorry for taking so long but better late than never. I used to have a running joke that I had a 4.0 in high school but it was 1.0 my freshman year, 1.0 my sophomore year…well, you get the idea. no it is not funny but that is how I got by, with B.S.  

It is ironic that with all of the misery that school once bestowed on me it is where the metamorphosis actually began. I was in a speech class and we had completed three short speeches that the instructor video taped and we had to evaluate them. I was getting a little more confident speaking in front of people and was ready to do this. I took the tape home and put it in the VCR, got my clipboard and sat down ready to work. I was confused, appalled and could not do anything except sit there and wonder who was doing my speech. That was the turning point for me when I did not recognize myself. I am 5’10” and weighed 250 pounds and had a forty inch waist. Who did this to me? What happened to me? Where did I go? Why do I look like that? When did this happen? How did I get so big? I had plenty of questions, now where to find the answers. There were so many parts of my life that need to change. Next, once I find answers, where do I begin?


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