Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A Flawed Legacy - 11

Getting enrolled at Georgia Tech was easier than crossing a street on a green light.  I was really surprised as I had anticipated some of the problems we encountered regularly in the military.

It was a whole lot easier than my efforts to get started on the studies involved.  I had to remember that I had only attended three years in high school and it had been seven years since I had sat in on a lecture that would eventually require me to answer questions on a test that would determine my future.  I had no problems with the English classes and the Drafting course I was taking.  Math, Algebra, was another situation and I might as well have been studying a foreign language when it came to understanding what my Physics instructor was saying.  I was about the realize the situation I was in.  My fellow students were much younger and they were the "cream of the crop" from the schools they were used to attending.

Fortunately, my counselor found a remedial course in Algebra I could attend and waived the requirement for Science classes until I had time to study the definitions being used in most classes.  By the time I realized I was not going to make it at Georgia Tech, the college had suggested that I ought  to consider other possibilities.

It was then that I discovered that in the heart of Atlanta, there was a relatively new college being established and they were looking for veterans with GI Bill scholarships.  So, I transferred to what was known in those days as the Atlanta Division of the University of Georgia; nowadays highly regarded at Georgia Sate University.  They moved me into the upper classes in Business Administration and I took to that curriculum like the proverbial duck to water.  I even found that in spite of my problems with math at Tech, I excelled in Accounting.  So much so that my Professor almost insisted I change my major to Accounting and he would assure me of a advanced scholarship so that I could become a CPA. I had no interest in "pencil pushing" and it was out of the questions as far as I was concerned.

In the meantime, I had been living on my Mother's couch in her one bedroom apartment. Whether moving out of that situation or meeting a gal in Sunday school was my motivation, but we decided to get married.  As a result, I was shocked to hear my Mother's response when I told her that I planned to get married.  "Sherwood, there has never been a divorce in our family."  What?  I thought I had told her I was planning on getting married, not getting a divorce.  Later I will share some thoughts on what she had said, but not for the moment.

We were married and moved into an apartment closer to where my bride worked as a Secretary for an executive in Delta Airlines headquarters.  We had talked about future plans I had when I graduated and that was to get a Commission in the Air Force and hopefully, travel to many of the places where we had Air Force bases.  She seemed interested and especially, the thought of travelling and so we were off to a good start.  Then, I began to realize that even though I had become President of the "day school" and was obligated to attend various school programs, they held no interest to her.  The only time I recall her visiting the college was when we had an "awards" program and I came away with quite a number of the awards.  She and my Mother were very proud and I was embarrassed.

Prior to graduation, I had made another decision.  I wanted more than anything to become a Father as I had never known the love of my own Father.  He died - unknown to me at the time, when I was living with my grandparents and none of them seemed to realize that it might have been important to me. Anyway, we had refrained from the possibility that she might become pregnant, but now I suggested it was time to consider the possibilities.  It would never happen.

I found my first civilian job with a major oil company and was grouped with three others from the same graduating class in a management "training" class.    It seemed like a good idea and I did my best to put up with the juvenile attitudes of my fellow trainees, even though I tried to demonstrate the knowledge of "administration" I had learned in the Air Force.  It was not working so I made attempts to opt out of the situation and when that failed, I offered my resignation.  I found another "opportunity" with a marketing firm and thought I had found an excellent transition from my military experience.  However, there was trouble at home with the reluctance to attempt a pregnancy as it seemed, her employment future was far more impressive than mine.  By that time, I had a sales territory out of the city and even though I was trying to balance my home life with my career, it was not working.  I felt trapped, so I made a move that still makes me wonder why.  I simply packed up my clothes, said good bye to our dog and left town.

In retrospect, it was a stupid move as I was turning my back on friends that I had made in college and in my interests in a political career and worse, I had no idea where I might be headed.

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