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Sunday, December 14, 2008

What's wrong with me?

All through school I knew I was different. How did I know, because my parents told me I was! And my teachers told me I was. The kids at school picked on me. Not just the bullies either.

I started school in 1975, I remember it well. I liked going, mostly. Until I got to second grade. I was so bored, I didn't want to go any more. My mom kept my report card form second grade, I love the comments:
"Has a general lack of interest in school, not motivated to learn."

What the hell is that!! I was in second grade, maybe it was your job to motivate me. By the time I was in fifth grade, I can say I hated it. All of it! The teachers, the kids, the learning (or in my case, lack of learning). No one under stood what I was going through. It took me 3 years to pass 7th grade English! I think they felt sorry for me and pushed me through the last year.

In 9th grade, I took 8th and 9th grade English together. What? How can I do that? Am I going to get smart all of a sudden? I guess so, I passed them both! My teacher helped though. He was the only one that I could understand. The other English teachers weren't speaking English!

Well, I got through school, and got a job making cables in a factory. That's the best I could do, right? I graduated, but I couldn't go to college, how could I, who wants someone that graduates with a 66 average their senior year.

Well, the U.S. Air Force, that's who. And they said I could go into the computer field too! Why? Because I scored a 98 on mechanical, and a 89 on mathematics. What, how, why, what's wrong with me then? I don't understand, my brother failed the test to get in the Army. Lot's of people got a lot lower scores then I did. How is that possible?

I went to basic training, and then off to technical school. The instructors were impressed with my logic and ability to learn new things. I love this job! I forgot to tell you, I had my first computer in 1980, when I was 10. That is the only way my teachers could read my writing!

So, I graduated from school, and went to Italy for my first assignment. This huge data center with mainframes and mini-main frames, servers and PC's (real IBM PC's). I started learning, and learning, and learning. I was married, got married at 18, but for some reason, learning about this job was taking over my life. I would work for 14 - 18 hours a day, my shift was 12 hours a day, but I would stay and read and learn. By the way, my job was classified, so I couldn't take it home.

After 6 months, I was the person that got called when something went wrong. The person that mentored me into the job had already left, and no one else was competent enough to lead. I was a high school graduate with 6 months experience, and the rank of E-2 (E-1 is the lowest). I was teaching Staff Sergeants and Technical Sergeants how to do their jobs.

The funny thing is, since I joined the Air Force, no one called me stupid. They trained me, and the taught me. They trained me on computers, and taught me not to give up.

After I learned this job, and stopped being challenged, the old feelings from school started to invade my life again. I was bored, at home, at work, every were, and all the time. My job was going to change, I was moving state side. That's good, I need a change, I've learn all I can from this job.

I still don't know what's wrong with me, but I'm happy, healthy, and learning more then school ever taught me!

I will continue on this journey, and I hope you will follow along. It's a long road, but I will fill in the gaps as I come across them, and you will be rewarded with knowledge when we reach the light at the end of the tunnel.


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