When I graduated from High School, I had been told my entire life that a diploma was what separated me from the jobless and being a bum. Then my senior year they came up with the Good Enough Diploma, err, I mean the General Equivalency Diploma which allowed dropouts to take an exam and bypass the four years of work and time necessary to get a diploma. In other words, we lowered the bar. I thought about college but when I asked my mother at one point about going to the local community college and she laughed. So I never asked or thought about it again. This was the last time I thought about it.
Until I moved to California and met Jeanne A. who was the mother of my then girlfriend who was in her late 30’s and I was like 24. Jeanne was going back to school at American River College in 1993 and I went with her one day and registered because she kept pestering me and finally said she would pay tuition and buy my book. Not knowing what to take, I took English 1a thinking I would get the classes I didn’t think I would like out of the way. It was also a way to tank the class, thinking that I couldn’t handle college level writing. I didn’t. The teacher liked my writing even if she disagreed with almost every idea. My classmates loved my writing style and I helped half of them learn to use Word Perfect for DOS to write their papers. And I Aced the class. I was stunned because I did all of the writing and the homework while working full time and spending hours commuting on foot. It felt awesome so I took English 1b.
But the other students were just astoundingly poor readers and writers which frustrated and angered me because they said I was arrogant because I used big words and wrote in such a precise and wordy style. When pressed they meant being descriptive, using the English language to its fullest. Using the term that best fit the idea I was trying to convey and writing how I think, feel and ultimately speak. People who know me through Facebook will realize this immediately when we meet in person. What you see is what you get, maybe a little toned down. I am sure if Randy R. reads this, he will remember a time at some fast food place where I almost gave a woman PTSD because of the topic of conversation. I tend to do that sometimes, it really is a side effect of Asperger’s and I am sure is why my childhood was so unpleasant because I also had very little impulse control. But I digress. So I used an excuse and dropped the class, with a W on the transcript. That was like 1993, right after Bill Clinton took office.
For most of my life, I worked a dead end minimum wage or slightly higher job. Always doing something that would cause me to either quit or be asked to not come back. Often it came because I would irritate coworkers or do something that they misread or misunderstood. It was not an easy time in my life. If it were not for a local BBS, called Afterlife and a couple of friends, Mykl and Mark B., I am not sure how I would have survived most of that time. There was also Rob, Jennifer and Xavier who were my neighbors and people for a incredible period of my life, where I managed to survive on my own, just barely. I finally began to connect with more people in real life. I started meeting people from Afterlife and at bars and found friends. And I drank like a college kid and lived life in the moment, spending incredible time with my friends. And I had so many different circles and groups of friends, often with very few circles knowing each other.
In 2009, I decided to take the Cisco classes at American River and took full time units in IT stuff. I was not prepared for the Cisco Class and fulltime college. The first semester kicked my ass and it was all I could do to maintain a C average in the easier classes to maintain an A in the cisco classes. And I crammed. All the time. I sat around doing and thinking Cisco. The tests hurt. I mean they really left me feeling stupid. All four semesters. Ouch. Yeah. But I got in to a rhythm with the other classes and got all A’s and B’s. I had to because I was paying for it on my dime. But I disliked most of the other students because they just were not nerdy enough and the one nerdy kid, who turned me on to Chrome, was too introverted. Then I couldn’t get any of the classes I wanted and I gave up because I started getting interviews.
Now, I have decided to go back with a clear goal in mind. I want to get a management degree and become a certified project manager. In the process, I want to experience what it is like to be a full-time college student. So I am going to treat it like a full-time job and pour myself in to it. Totally immerse myself in the Community College experience as an Old Guy, as a Student, as a Nerd, as a Social Networker. Through my blogs, Facebook, Tumblr, and Instagram I will tell this story to you through my eyes, in my voice. This blog is dedicated to my family, my friends, both real life and cyber because I don’t really make a distinction, and my followers. Yeah, like I have followers. As always, I love and appreciate you taking the time to read this, like this, subscribe to this blog and leave comments and feedback. Oh and this is a shout out to Mykl. How’s this for you? (Edited for grammar and spelling. Thanks Ralph!)