February 4, 2014
Well now, by now you have discovered that I have learned far too little to be attempting to create an interesting blog, but I have an excellent mentor who is indeed, patient and kind, and most of all, one who encourages me to continue. So I will, the thought being, I have lived a long time, experienced many things that many will never experience and I come face to face with a world that is rapidly changing and I object, not because it is merely my opinion, but there are some facts that need close examination.
What I have attempted to do so far is lay out the experiences of my early years where most of my instincts had been honed by the grandparents who provided hearth and home to a little boy who was denied the experiences of a Father and far too often, the absence of a Mother who only seemed to care for her only son. Looking back on those early years, I still have to wonder how I had arrived at the conclusions that seemed to indicate, I needed to get away from the frustrations of trying to impress others that I was a good boy.
But now, having traveled half way around this globe on which we all live, grown up in the "man's" world that was the Air Force in those days, and realizing I was poorly prepared to create a future, I walk through the halls of one of nation's most prominent educational institutions, Georgia Tech, and discover my inadequacies. I had not realized I would be competing for grade marks withe some of the brightest high school graduates in the nation, but I tried. My first failure was in Algebra, but an older Professor recognized my problem and had me withdraw and re-enter, remedial Algebra. That really helped and I would pass with a "B" grade. Then came Physics and here I was an absolute failure. My classmates could real off answers to the question while I was still trying to interpret the questions. With that I went to an Adviser who suggested I might consider withdrawing and attending another college where my experiences would be more appropriate.
I consulted with my VA counselor and he suggested the University of Georgia but a visit reminded me that while it might offer a more appropriate study schedule, the campus seemed to be inundated with "kids" enjoying their first "home" away from home. On my way back to Atlanta, I met a man who told me about a man he knew, who had been on staff at Georgia Tech but was now opening a new college in downtown Atlanta, to be known as the Atlanta Division of the University of Georgia. That could be the solution to my concerns and so I was enrolled for the Fall semester. It was more than a good place to meet my needs, it was convenient and I would discover, the faculty rolls revealed many excellent educators. I was - at home and my grades reflected my intent to excel.
One thing, I was older than a majority of the students and I was barely settled in before I was elected as the leader of a number of student groups, which eventually led to my election of the Day School student body. There was also a Night School student body and since we were good friends, I felt that I was not only getting an education, this "Yankee" boy was being accepted by most of my fellow students.
I also made a very serious mistake. Living with my Mother in a one bedroom apartment was not the the most accommodating place for study and absolutely no place to entertain others. It wasn't long before I met a nice gal who was attending the same church, and nature took its course. We decided to get married even though she claimed to be five years older. It wasn't until we were filling out the license application that I noticed, she was not just five years older, but ten. Looking back, I should have walked away, but I did not. The farce that would become the foundation of our marriage would continue for almost five years and I just, left town and never returned.
Now, I had to look back. I was a proud and perhaps a bit vain when I left the Air Force. I looked on college a just another opportunity to succeed as I had in the Air Force and I did not even come close.
Now, I would be divorced and in those days, most employers looked at this as a sign of potential failure and to be honest, I had not done well in either of the two jobs I had after graduating.
It was time for an honest personal evaluation. Looking back today, I wonder why I just continued on as if nothing on importance had happened, other than my success in the military. Why I did not consider re-enlisting has always confused me. I could have retired in my early 40's and with a college degree, there were all sorts of opportunities I might have taken advantage of. But I did not.
Which brings me to the reason for creating this blog. I am like tens of thousands of others who "ran" into the future without any realistic goals and wind up as middle aged wondering why life has passed them by. I suspect I have interviewed hundreds of men - and women, like that and never realized I was - more often than not, looking into a mirror of my own life.
Hope to see you, tomorrow...