Friday, May 29, 2009

Problem Solved

by 13 Stoploss

Here’s where I reveal the shitbaggery in my Army career: I have, on a couple occasions, failed a PT Test. In my five years in the Active Army, I worried about every PT Test. No one cared that I ran twelve flat, or that I worked my butt off to achieve 80% in pushups. Nope. 5’10” white guys who weigh 140 pounds and who have severely underdeveloped hip flexors ALWAYS worry about sit-ups.

Yep, I had that Squad Leader who made it his objective in life to smoke the living crap out of me everyday. Flutter kicks x1000. In the end, I always won, or lost, depending on how you see it. I sweated, fatigued, worked hard, and never saw an improvement. On any given day, I could score between 47 and 53 repetitions, where 53 for my age group was the minimum.

Automatic dirtbag, right?

That’s how I felt last night when I wrote about my classes, and waiting on one grade. I received the last grade this afternoon. My fingers trembled when I received the email alerting me that my grade had been posted. I was trying to calm myself as I navigated the links, expecting the worst and hoping for a “C.”

It was like that with PT Tests, too. You always start with the run. I could preserve some energy and still run a thirteen flat (100%). Pushups were difficult for me, but I was always able to knock out another ten once I hit fatigue. Two events down, no problem, but that was when the nervousness took over. The butterflies in my stomach, flitting and dancing about, would flutter for the ten minutes until the sit-up event.  

I was hoping for some grace, that if I were anywhere close to a “C,” that she would give it to me. It was a non-major class, taken for self-interest and elective requirements, but turned into more of an effort than I had anticipated.

In Iraq in 2006, as a FOBbit, I took four PT Tests. I take issue in having to take PT Tests during a deployment to a combat zone, especially when stop-lossed, but truthfully, had scored higher than I ever had previously. Aside from not caring, I don’t know what changed. How did I pull off 85% in sit-ups when I had never previously scored higher than 65%?

She gave me a “B!” 

I was worried about passing with a “C,” and she gave me a “B.” Perhaps the greater question is how a High School dropout could finish his Junior College career with a cumulative 3.58 GPA, and only a single “C?”


bigD said...

Hi Jason,
Don't ya know I love it when I'm right! Yeah...happy for you! If you hadn't gotten a "D" on the mid-term, you most likely would have an "A!"

The answer to your question is you are an intelligent guy who has figured out what's important. Teachers appreciate students who do not take their education for granted. Good teachers appreciate students who actually come to class to learn and show some discipline and integrity in the work they produce.

Congratulations to you Jason. I am glad that teachers are not like the nasty squad leaders you have experienced. Good teachers want to inspire their students to be lifetime learners! I am sure you are an inspiration to your teachers as well and they learn many lessons from a young guy who has been to hell and back and still chooses make the best life he can for himself and his family.
Keep on keepin' on Jason. Onward and upward towards that Bachelor's degree! You can do it!

Anonymous said...

Jason, bigD is right, teachers love to taken seriously. Now I'm going to tell you some thing else; you're taking this way too seriously. Education, life, and learning is about more than sweating your ass off. It's about how you feel at the end of the day, or all the days, for that matter. One way or another, it all comes out in the wash. You're a very intelligent, motivated, young guy. Trust yourself. Do your best, but cut yourself some'd give somebody else a break, wouldn't you? I hope so! There is another side, and it's not something you have to work for. You'll get that degree by plugging away at it. Think; built for comfort, not built for speed. Despite everything we try to teach you, life isn't a competition. It does you no damn good to get there first... Good luck! z

Liz said...

Awesome! Congratulations!

It's a misperception that all high school dropouts are lazy or not smart. The high school dropouts I've known (admittedly, only 2) were actually really smart and ended up eventually doing really interesting things with their lives, they just couldn't stand the bullshit that is high school for most people.

Anonymous said...

Good job! You have the talent, drive and intellect to accomplish anything in life that you desire.

Anonymous said...

Why do you think you made a D on the midterm?

13 Stoploss said...

The Midterm was worth 50 points; 30 for the multiple choice, 20 for the essay. I got 18 of 20 on the essay, and 14 of 30 on the multiple choice. Add 'em together, and that's that about a 64%. There were no other tests, aside from the final, and 7 or 8 quizzes, each worth 5 points. There were two other point opportunities: a 5 point map quiz, and a semester research project/presentation. I got the map quiz points, and an 89% on my presentation. The final was worth the same 50 points as the midterm, and I do not know how I did on it.

Anyway, thanks everyone! I'm actually very excited!