The Big Question – Part 3


Who I am not

I am not an academic.

Never have been.

At least not in the common sense of the word.  I was a mediocre student at best.  I stopped getting all A’s at about the same time that all A’s weren’t given to everyone.  Let’s say 2nd or 3rd grade.

I remember being teased in 6th grade English class by the girl who sat behind me.  (She was behind me in many classes because her name followed mine alphabetically – she was bright and outgoing – and I think she truly enjoyed seeing shy guys squirm – my first encounter with a bully)

English was not my strong suit.  I still don’t understand the rules and couldn’t diagram a sentence if my life depended on it.

I had a girlfriend in 8th grade who was keen on the exchange of love notes.  As much as I dreaded writing them, she really insisted on receiving them, so I capitulated and wrote them.  It’s not that the content was lacking.  It’s just that my English usage and spelling was very poor.  I was blissfully unaware of this for most of the year.  Until I visited her home one day when some relatives were visiting – including her Grandmother.  Her Grandmother delighted in letting me know that she had read all the letters I’d written and that my spelling was horrible!   I never returned to her home.  I was too embarrassed.  I had been bullied again.  This time by a grandmother, and by my former girlfriend too I suppose.  After all, she really shouldn’t have shared my private correspondence that was intended for her eyes only.

My high school years were marked by increasing skill in the ability to do as little work as possible yet still get that passing grade.

It didn’t take much to get into a state liberal arts school back in the mid 1970’s so my high school experience proved to be sufficient to get me into college.

Once at university and again excelled in mediocrity in every academic pursuit.  I received one academic A in the four years I was there.  Surprisingly at the time, it was in a computer programming class that I took for fun.  The writing was on the wall I suppose.

I graduated from college with a BA in Sociology and left the education world behind me.  I tried going back as an adult while working at the same time.  That was simply not going to work.  I’m just not an academic.  That is not who I am.

I don’t like to work

This one needs some qualification.  Some would look at what I do and think that I work very hard.  But…  Is it work if it’s something you enjoy?  For me, work is what I do because I have to.  I don’t like it when I have to do things just to exist in this world.  I much prefer to do what I enjoy doing.  I’m fortunate that my job entails something I enjoy doing.  So, it really doesn’t seem like work.  Getting to the job (3 hour round trip commute) is work.  Doing what I have to do (most of the time) is not.

So there you have it.  A summery of who I am by looking at who I am not.  Why was this important for me to do?

I intend to toss out thoughts and ideas that critics would say I have no authority to be discussing.  Simply put, I have opinions for some things that are not backed by extensive qualifications.  So, if you’re inclined to wonder where I came by my ideas…. you may be left wondering, because I may not be able to tell you.

I believe that it is rare to have a truly unique thought or idea.  I think that most of the time, when I believe I’m coming up with some new concept, it’s really just a mash up of stuff I’ve read or learned about over the years.  It’s strange how often I think I must be the only one to think those things – until I research them and find out – there’s a whole movement based on those ideas out there!

So – enough qualifying …. let’s get on to the big questions!

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