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How being dumb was the smartest thing I did.
Reprise of old story, for new readers.
In the 9th grade we took a battery of tests, had teacher meetings and ended up in the guidance counselor's office to set our course for the HIGH SCHOOL. Our system back then had 7th, 8th and 9th grades in a "junior high" bldg.
So, after all the testing, talking and telling, the Guidance Counselor (GC) spent a whole 2 mins telling me I was probably going to be a drop out, so he said, "take any classes you want in High School, you certainly are NOT college material", (which was correcto mungo)...and although I felt sort of bad at his attitude about it, he not wanting to waste any time on ME at all...
My good buddy Carl Stevens showed me the bright side. "Man, you can take all the classes you really want, get with all the girls, and have a ball."
Well, sure, but Carl was in the top of the class of nearly 1000 kids, he was the only student/athlete who was in the top 10, don't know why we got along so well. Anyhow.
Somewhat in defiance of the GC I took a course or two my sophomore year I had no business taking, one was an early morning biology class, which started an hour before regular school, so I could get an hour early to go work my full time job. Although I liked the subject, I had a jerk for a teacher and a penchant for not doing homework, including not turning in the mandatory leaf and insect collection, man I had better things to do.
Well somehow, I got an A the first semester followed by two F's, a final exam of B, and still got an overall F (although I protested and showed the math didn't add up, it was all about my ATTITUDE, silly me, I thought it was about knowing the subject material.
Anyhow. Here is why being so dumb back then turned out to be a very smart choice. In high school I took the "dummy" classes, not the College Prep, and NOT the tradesman, work with your hands, NOT the art program. Just plain old business type classes, which were thought of as the castoffs classes, and maybe so.
But, I took:
Notehand. A form of shorthand I've used for decades.
Business Math. Came out knowing how to balance a checkbook, read the stock market, read annual reports, and profit/loss statements.
Creative Writing Which I came close to failing.
Retail Sales. This was considered the low of the low classes, for those who would end up hawking appliances at SEARS. HA! ON them, most useful class I ever took.
ACTING. Cause of some girl. But taught how to speak in front of an audience.
English Lit, another of those prep classes I shouldn't have been allowed to take, but I did well, better than most of the brainiacs (goes to show what part interests play in being educated).
Modern Novel. Made me read the so called classics of the day.
Dev. Reading. A speed reading class using a machine of light which went faster and faster. Good course coupled with self study on memory.
And some regular classes mixed in, like Problems of Democracy (wish they still taught that one, today's students know NOTHING about their gov't), Basic Speech and Debate, GYM CLASS, though known as PE. Tried to take that one every semester. And even a Geometry class...I can't even imagine how I got a C in that one. But I did.
That wasn't the complete schedule, but it is the BUSINESS classes which I am so thankful for. If I had been a better student, I would have had all kinds of knowledge about things which mean very little to folks outside of a given discipline. Back then, it was all about getting into college, and we had a pretty high rate too.
But getting those business skills and classes under my belt, I feel, gave me an unfair advantage over some of my classmates some graduating magna cum laude from colleges only to find their diplomas couldn't get them the so-called better job they were promised.
I see today, especially in those wanting to get into IM, have such a lack of business skills, NO concept of selling, marketing, bookkeeping, even writing. And there are some who will say, so what if I write i in lower case, i'm hip to the way things are today....maybe so, but you ain't gettin any work from me, or from most people who regard spelling and grammar to be a given in writing work for hire.
I have no point to this post, other than to say, I may have a somewhat OK country song somewhere in here...
I thank God for being dumb, it was the smartest thing I done.
Anyhow, it amazes me I learned so much while sleeping my way through high school.
PS. I did get a lot of great looking girls in these classes, but when you are sawing zzzzz's in the back of the room, it was hard to get their positive attention, no wonder they called me the Buzz Saw.
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