When I was in High School, I had no desire or any ambition to go to college.  I went to High School to have fun, not to learn.  I spent 7 years out of High School before I finally matriculated where I guess that I had between 15 to 20 different jobs.  I worked at a warehouse, a loading dock, a factory, a foundry, an assembly line, a car wash on a golf course and many other positions that were not well suited for me.  I was an average student in High School graduating with a class rank of 154 out of 412 students.  I scored an 840 on my SAT’s, getting a 550 in Math, but only a 290 in English.

I was always good in Math, because I was able to see the patterns.  My Algebra teacher told me that I had the highest grades out on any of his students on all the tests, but he was going to give me a B on my report card, because I did not hand in any homework.  I held the opinion that if I knew what I was doing, that I did not need to do any homework, but my teacher felt different about this.  I really did not care that much about grades and I had no idea what the future had in store for me.  It was probably best that I waited to go to college, as I would probably would have just ended up parting there and flunking out.

On my first day of college, I attended an orientation seminar, where the speaker said that for every hour that you spent in class that you should go home and study for two hours, so that is what I did.  If I had five hours of class, I went home and studied for ten hours.  I was seven years older than all of the other students, so I kept to myself, went to class and then I went home and studied.  I had five courses that first semester and I got five A’s and I made the National Junior College honor roll.  The classes were easy for me because I was studding all the time.

I took Trigonometry this first semester and my professor told me not to take the final exam and I told him that I did not mind taking it, but then he said that since he grades on a curve, that if I were to take it that all of the other students would get a lower grade.  He said that I had a 98 average in this class and that no matter what grade I would get on the final, that he would have to give me an A.  I skipped the final because I did not want anyone to get a lower grade.

I had English and History of North American Indians and each of these subjects required me to write a term paper.  My English teacher said that I could submit my history term paper to her as long as it met her format requirements.  The paper that I wrote had to be typed up twice (no computers in these days), but at least I only had to do the research for one paper.  I wrote about watercraft structures of the North American Indians and I covered all of the boats that I could find.  My English teacher was in love with Thoreau, so I put a quote of his from his book Walden Pond on my Title Page and I ended up with an A++ on that paper.  I also got an A on my history term paper, so from this I learned that if you want to get good grades, the best way is to study.

2 thoughts on “Matriculate

  1. I used to be an average student and I had the weird habit of answering some of the answers wrong, even when I knew the right answer. It seems to me that you were anything but average, as it says on the certificate, you’re as you have been, outstanding Jim.

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