When my son, Tim was in school he received some additional help because he experienced some difficulties in learning how to read. In grade school and even in middle school, this helped Tim a lot and he became a very self-motivated individual. He knew early on that he wanted to join the military, get a college degree and then go on to work with the Forest Service. It was a common joke in our house that if Tim could have found a pack of wolves to adopt him so he could live in the woods — he would have done it immediately! In fact, when we vacationed in Yellowstone, we kept our eye on him to make sure he didn’t run off with the buffalo!
Things went pretty well during the early school years — we had some bumps but Tim always bounced right back and stayed on track for his dream. Then came high school – and one teacher in particular. This teacher (and I really don’t remember her name) had determined that Tim was ‘just not college material’. She told me this on more than one occasion and wanted Tim to drop out of his math classes and concentrate on vocational items only. Tim kept telling her that dropping out of math would ruin his plans – but she insisted that “he should quit thinking about college and just join the military.” Tim didn’t think much of this advice because he had already planned on joining the military — but when this woman repeated this same statement to me, it was not a pretty confrontation! My response? My son is smart enough to possibly die for our country but not smart enough for college? Excuse me?!?! Needless to say, Tim stayed in his math courses and this teacher labeled him “uncooperative” and dropped him from the ‘extra help’ program. Tim was not phased in the least and as you have read in many of my posts — he is doing quite well.
The reason for this dance down memory lane? I was helping Tim fill out a resume for his most recent step in his career path and one of the questions concerned his goals. This is what my “uncooperative” “not college material” child wrote this about his goals:
“Within the next two years, I would like to obtain a permanent fire position with the forest service and earn my B.S. in Environmental Studies with minors in Geography and Criminal Justice. My long-term goal is to become a Fuel Management Officer with the forest service. In addition, I plan on working on a master’s degree in forestry and obtaining a wilderness EMT Certification.”
So – next time someone tells you something you know in your heart isn’t right — don’t believe ‘them’ just because they are in power or they seem to speak with authority. “They” aren’t always right.