Thursday, November 24, 2011

Got off to a Bad Start, But Things Turned Out Okay

On another site (, I blogged about how I bailed out of a community college creative writing class without officially withdrawing. Yeah, I know, dumb move. Unfortunately, ignoring that formality didn’t bother me—until the last minute.

The evening before my short story project was due, I decided I didn’t want to flunk the class. Why did I change my mind? Well, according to my blog post, I thought an F would look bad on my academic record if I ever decided to take other classes at that particular college.

Actually, I fibbed a little in writing that particular post. I confess that I had previously attended that particular college for two years. I wasn’t afraid that an F would look bad on my record. I was afraid that my record would look worse. It already looked bad, with two F’s, one in French IV and another in World Literature 102.

At the end of my second year there, I flunked out due to my low GPA. My fault entirely. I just wasn’t motivated to do well in school back then. For one thing, I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up. I also spent too much time skipping classes and hanging out elsewhere, mostly at Friendly’s restaurant. Then I skipped the world literature final because I was running late and didn’t want to throw myself on the mercy of the teacher.

I decided to take the writing class a year after I flunked out of college. I thought the class would be fun. It wasn’t. But there is a happy ending. I turned in my creative writing project and ended up with a C for the semester.

But wait, there’s more.

Two years later, I went back to the community college and made up the F in World Literature, replacing that grade with a B. Later, while working full time, I took evening classes in history, anthropology, and children’s literature at another college. I enjoyed those classes, but it soon dawned on me that they weren’t marketable.

Although I still lived with my parents, I had bills to pay. I was glad to be working. But I wanted to find a better, more interesting job than the ones I could already list on my resume. I was bored silly by jobs that involved butchering window shades, filing stacks of invoices, and setting trashcans on fire (yes, that actually happened). So I went back to the community college and enrolled in business and accounting classes. Although I had never been much interested in math, I discovered that I really liked accounting. I found a bookkeeping position with a CPA several months before I graduated with an A.S. in liberal studies.

I worked in the bookkeeping/ accounting field for more than fifteen years.

And then I went back to school. Yes, again.

Another story for another blog post.

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