Congratulations on raising yourself to such an extraordinary level.
My mom is also big on her Christian faith. It certainly affected me and I've learned a lot from it. One of the biggest lessons I learned from her and
it was that I should always do my own thinking - balancing perspectives and reason. For example, I was sitting in church once and something the
preacher said in his sermon did not sit well with me. I went home and asked my mom about it. She immediately whipped out her worn bible and opened it
up straight to the very part I was talking about. She handed it to me and told me to read the passage for myself. Then she asked me what I thought it
meant. She showed me that just because a man is a preacher does not mean he is always right. Through prayer and supplication, we are all heirs to the
mind of Christ. We are all able to think for ourselves. It was profound.
I went to college straight out of high school, as was expected. I was so young, dumb and into partying and playing sports, I didn't have a clue
concerning what I wanted to do with my life. I didn't even know what a major was.
My main goal in life was to play sports for my college.
That's what they were paying me for. (Oh well, at least I learned what my social security number was!:lol
It would serve me well in the
After a long and drawn out break-up at the end of my first semester, despite my scholarships, I decided not to return. I didn't care. I figured I'd
go back home, get a job and start over. I spent the next year working as a dishwasher and a screen engraving artist. During that time I fell in love
with someone I was ready to spend my whole life with. I quickly realized I would have to do something serious to back that dream up. Being that I
loved travel & adventure and was very patriotic, I joined the ARMY. I just knew I'd get sent to Germany like everyone else I knew that went that
route. Didn't seem like a bad idea. Not at all. AND.. I'd establish my credit and get money for my college education.
I had it all wrong! Instead of Germany, I went straight to Ft. Campbell, KY (101st ABN Division, Air Asslt). I got there in January and by September
the whole division was sent to Saudi Arabia for Operation Desert Shield/Storm. Being it was still the cold war, that was the last thing I ever thought
(I completely supported it, tho.) Being out in the Arabian and Mesopotamian deserts gave me more time to think than you can imagine.
I realized that there were things I wanted to do and things I wanted to be. I resolved that I would commit myself to the persuit of knowledge and upon
my return to Ft. Campbell, God willing, I would get into college and finish my degree. What degree? Although I wanted to become a writer, I was also
into politics. I chose Political Science and History (as my father had before me - strange co-incidence. He died before I knew that). I wanted to
become an expert at something specific and knew I'd learn how to write regardless. And so I was right. The Persian Gulf War was the most profound
experience I've ever had - on so many levels. I've thought about it every day of my life since and thank God for the experience. I came away from it
and my time in the Army having a whole new appreciation for education.
Gools, I know what you mean about the ignorance and apathy you found in college. It's alarming. But you know, anyone with money can get a degree
these days. I used to leave one poli/sci class, in particular, just shaking my head in utter disbelief at the wholesale lack of knowledge some of my
classmates displayed. These are the kids coming out of the public school system, by and large. It's very sad.