All of my life I have received conflicting reports from my parents. "You're smart, you just WANT to fail." If you're smart, how can you want to fail? I suppose they were trying to use some weird, fucked up, twisted psychology on me, though I am not sure, because when I went to apply for colleges, the same parents that told me I was smart told me "You'll never succeed in nursing school. You don't have the math and science skills". So nursing school was fairly out of the question.
When I applied and got accepted to my alma mater, I was a "Liberal arts Undecided" candidate. Basically, the major meant I didn't know what I wanted to be when I grew up, but I knew I had to go to college.
The weekend I started freshman orientation, my mother had a tragic accident involving a 40' extension ladder crushing her dominant hand, requiring multiple surgeries, years of rehab, and never regaining full use of the hand again. My parents were not by any means wealthy, and with my sister and I in college, I knew I had to get some sort of a job to pay for my gas to get back and forth to school, (I commuted from "home"), and I knew I had to pay my own way.
I applied for work and got hired, making a nickel over minimum wage, at the Evil Empire, the one that sells cheap plastic crap, and has invaded America as a "Way of Life". But, hey, it was a job. And it wasn't a whole lot less than what my mother had been making at her job. They were flexible with working hours, and routinely enlisted college students into their ranks so they knew that with each semester, a schedule change would be almost required.
Being talkative, intelligent, and an easy learner, over the years I have discovered it best to mind your own p's and q's, don't let on to people that you're smart, as you will be viewed as a threat, and thus be laughed at, made fun of, and constantly viewed as "different". Being smart has never been a good thing. Therefore, in school, I did what I had to do to get by. I didn't put a whole lot of effort in because if I did, I would be put into a 'different' group. My parents always said 'Your sister can do it, why can't you?' I hated my sister for that. And because of that, I tried even less. I purposely did not do my homework. I would intentionally fail tests. I just didn't care. To the point that I was put in Title 1 (which,'round here, is for the kids that ain't the shaahpest tools in the shed) for math, and English. Good grades were expected in our house, and I quite frankly, didn't give a shit about it, and one year, I walked into my math class, and the teacher looked at me and called me my sister's name. I stood straight up and said "I am NOT my sister, and DON'T EVER call me that again". I proceeded to fail math that quarter. I did what I had to so I wouldn't get into trouble. I paid attention in class, but I never read my books. I would do my homework on the bus the day it was due. If it wasn't perfect, oh well. Therefore, they couldn't be mad at me for failing, but I didn't get the glowing praise that the persistent straight A student got. Sure, I could have done better, but why bother, if you're in the middle, not getting in trouble for failing, but not getting the super-duper grades.
Moving on from the Evil Empire that sells cheap, plastic crap, I had a college sheepskin saying I was all graduated and all. While working full/part time, taking a full college load, working at a work study, living at home (and working on the farm), I managed to squeeze in an EMT class 40 miles away. So I decided to get a job working in EMS in the southern end of the state, where, I had secured a spot at another university taking classes to work towards my elusive second bachelors...a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing. What I really wanted.
I discovered rapidly that working 60 hours a week and trying to take a 13 credit hour course load was a lot different than working 30 hours a week and taking a 15 credit hour course load. Needless to say, I had "proven" my parents right. My performance was HORRIBLE in school.
...to be continued