Monday, November 1, 2010

An attitude that took the right left turn

          My son hated high school. He hated everything about it. As intelligent as he is, he refused to deal with anything related to school. No matter how many lectures I gave. No matter how many times I literally took him to school and watched him walk in the doors. It didn't matter the treats, the punishments or tears. He was not going to attend school. Eventually he was called into the office and the best of my understanding is that he was invited to leave. While the school did not contact me so I only have one side of the story, he was told that his transcript was bad and only getting worse so it was best that he left then. (To this day I haven't figured out how leaving helped that transcript). At that times James was already 18 and past the age of legally being able to leave school.
            When I got in from work James told me what had happened. We had already checked out a local college's high school program but we had not signed up for it. I told James to call and find out when their testing was. He was a step ahead of me. He had been disinvited from the local, public high school on Tuesday, on Thursday he was taking the test. He needed to score a ninth grade reading level. He scored a tenth of a point below college. While he still struggled with some subjects for the most part he made it through in good time. He was determined to get that high school diploma and he did,
            Less than a year after he graduated he was talking to people at a technical college a few miles up the road. I watched him get all excited over this while all the while I'm thinking of his hatred of high school and how he fought to finish getting his diploma. Still he swore this was what he wanted. He promised to do this to the best of his ability. Finally seeing the "I want this" burning in his eyes, I gave in and we got him signed up. It wasn't long before he was signed up for Universal Technical Institute/ Nascar Technical Institute. His dream? To work in a NASCAR garage. I told him to do that-- he had to be the best of the best of the best and nothing less.
        In the months that he has been attending UTI he has only missed one day. That day he came home sick. He goes in early and stays over at times. He is quick to volunteer for almost anything NASCAR. He's attended the last two races as a volunteer. He had a job most people would love to have...he got to tell people where to go....and get away with it. He's volunteered at fundraisers and events for the American Cancer Society. All the while he has grown and matured right before my very eyes.
            Before he started attending UTI we purchased an old car for him to drive. He took that car which even though it had been setting up for a while was a good car and made it better. He has that vehicle humming along.
           And his grades? He understood perfectly when I told him he had to be the best. His grades are almost always in the upper 90's. For a young man who hated school. Who flat out refused to attend high school he has really turned his opinions and attitudes around. Watching him now, I can believe that he is going to make that dream of his come true. Because he sure has the desire and the heart for it.

1 comment:

  1. Some people just aren't book people, sounds like he hit on what his passion was and went with it. Finding what that passion is is half the battle sometimes.