The Long Climb To AdulthoodPosted Thursday, February 17, 2011, at 9:37 PM
As I mentioned before,I was a late bloomer in a family of achievers. Although, I had several great teachers, I am only able to list a few in this particular blog.
To be honest, I was just an average student until my high school years. The one subject that held me back was Math. It took me forever to understand the concept of Math. I transposed numbers and math facts simply didn't make sense to me. Those big red D's over-shadowed my other grades each report card day.
I was the teacher's pet in the 3rd grade. Mrs. Walker always made me feel special. Mrs. Thompson in the 6th grade had such a great sense of humor and made you feel as though you could talk to her about anything.
Mr. Lynott in my Junior High years made science fun for all of his kids. I can still hear his big happy laugh and remember his terrible jokes. If he got frustrated with us, he called us "Fatheads".
But the biggest impact in my high school years were two teachers; Mr. Dunn in my sophomore year and Lyle Howe in my senior year.
Mr Dunn taught me to understand math for the first time in my life. I had taken business math that year. His method was pretty simple, he would be as dumb as the students. He would put a math problem on the blackboard and then proceed to talk out the solution with the entire class until we all understood it. To come home with a B on my report card was one of the most thrilling moments. I even made the honor roll that last quarter!
In my senior year, I was all set for secretarial courses. I survived one day with bookkeeping and went back to the guidance counselor that afternoon to change my classes. It was the first year that they offered vocational training for Welding and Auto Mechanics.
Lyle Howe instilled a confidence in me that became a cornerstone to my adult years. That year, I learned to weld; I overhauled a pick-up engine and I was a darned good valve grinder.
After my high school experience, no matter what trials or fears I experienced, I would remind myself that if Lyle Howe thought I could overhaul a pick-up engine, then I should be able overcome any other challenges that came my way. 20 years after I graduated, I was given an opportunity to tell him thank for giving me that gift of confidence. Sadly, with Mr. Dunn, I could not. I did, however, write a letter to his grandson and told him what a great teacher his grandfather was and because of him,I understood math for the first time in my life.
In 1988, I took a year of business college and one of the required classes was business math. I aced a test with a 100% for the very first time. THANK YOU MR. DUNN!
Late Bloomers push through those traumatic years of being slightly behind in some type of development. And how do they accomplish that? It is because someone in their life encouraged them to achieve something beyond their expectations.
Our school years are the building blocks to adulthood and the little extra effort put forth by a dedicated teacher can make all the difference in the world to a late-bloomer. It certainly did with me.
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Walking the Fence Line
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Fixing fence is the one of the hardest jobs on a ranch. I no longer live on a ranch, but I do know what hard work is. Fences are everyone's concern, but nowadays,the "hole" is always your neighbor's side not your own. It used to be that you would respect your neighbor and mend the fence together. If their cows got in your field, a simple phone call resolved the problem. You might even saddle up your own horse and help them gather them up. We need more people who are willing to roll their sleeves up and fix the fence regardless of who your neighbor is. There are people in this country who need to be reminded that a fence is like the way you should conduct your life. Your posts should be straight and neat. The wire needs to be stretched tight and your gate might be closed, but can still be easily opened. And most of all, we can all saddle up together and ride the range, it won't matter if you have an Appaloosa, Quarter Horse or Thoroughbred. The cows still have to be gathered, fences have to be fixed, and the range is a wide open space of opportunity for us all.