It’s super early in the morning right now (and I have never been a morning person). I had wanted to get something written or some great insight to shed life on this odd thing we call life, but instead I find myself working my way through life and wondering what the heck is going on. I’m sure you get it, we all go through it. And here I am talking like I know things when I really don’t.
Anyway, time is still a struggle right now. It’s a week before school starts so I have been working toward getting things ready for when I am going to have to drive these random children all over the place. We picked routes on Monday. Now comes the work of figuring out the paths I need to take to get to the different addresses that fill the route. And no, this isn’t going to become a bus driver blog or anything like that. It’s still a thing of me telling and reading odd stories and other bizarre things going on in the world around me. Take a breath, it’s cool.
Turned out that the route I picked up is with the alternative ed kids. These are the ones doing the alternative high school and such so they don’t mix with the kids doing the normal path. I was one of those kids. The difference being, when I was at that stage of life, the program was still fairly new. I would have had to go to the same school system that I am driving for now. It isn’t the same school system that I grew up in. Strange the circles our life takes us in.
See, at the time I should have been doing that, I was working (at 2.65 an hour, minimum wage back then) and going to community college. Community college has always been a great thing in that they are happy to take people with the money to pay tuition. I spent a year doing that. Had a gift from my grandmother (who I had only seen and spoken with a couple times in my life) to get me through my first year there. That was all I had done, and I had done horrible at it. My first time in college had pretty much gone as well as my time in high school. I had never met a class I couldn’t skip.
All of that was going on within my 15th and 16th year of life. I had no direction and no idea of what I really wanted to do with what I could figure out. Funny thing is, this was around the time that CAD drafting was first coming into colleges. Even though computers then were nothing like they are now, I had wanted to do the drafting thing with all that. I’m pretty sure all that is completely different now. I can’t see doing any of that without a computer anymore. (my first thought in college was to be an architect.)
Now back to the other thoughts… This was a time in my life when I knew I needed a change but couldn’t figure out for the life of me what I needed to do to make any of the changes that would matter. I joined the Marines. Yeah, I went to boot camp about a month after I turned 17. The college credits I had earned were counted toward a high school diploma at the time. I guess when you need to find some direction, it can help to go to the extreme to find it.
And I was still following the alt ed track. It was when I was in the Marines that I got my high school diploma. I ended up in adult ed with some other Marines from my unit who were in a similar place that I was and with some civilians. Basically, it was a college program for high school taught on base. When all was said and done, it took me 6 months to graduate from high school two years after the people I grew up with. Mind you, it had been 5 or more years since I had been in a class with any of them. Yeah, I went to a small school and spent most of that time with the same people. It wasn’t until we were separated out in the different classes and class levels (advanced classes vs base classes) that things changed up a little bit. But that is a story for a different time.
The thing I am getting at here is that feeling of coming full circle. At least without knowing the stories of these kids, I have a feeling I know what they are going through. I’ve been there. Growing up is ugly enough as it is, and most of us feel like we don’t really belong in most places. And that’s about all I am going to go into this. I have a feeling that this could turn all maudlin and sappy and I don’t want to go there. Feelings are icky.
If you enjoy these stories, consider leaving some coffee money in the jar or you could buy a book or two. Either way helps keep the stories flowing.