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Sorry y'all

hoffmalr–I’m glad to see that we are on the same page. I am also able to detect whether a post was written by someone whose first language is not English, or whether–as you said–it was written by someone who chose to sleep through his/her English classes. I am very tolerant of mistakes made by those who have just recently begun to learn English, and I am frequently not tolerant of mistakes made by those who took their 12 years of free education in the US for granted.

In my first career–as an educator (5 years as a teacher, 29 years as a school counselor)–I always used to tell my students that, in an ideal world, everyone would have both high intelligence and high motivation–but that many people lack one or the other. I would then tell them that the person with high motivation/lower intelligence is the one who is more likely to be successful in life, as compared to the person with low motivation/high intelligence.

I also stressed the importance of written communication skills, and in my retirement, I think back with pleasure on the scores of successful engineers, MDs, accountants, mechanics, secretaries, and others whom I fostered, counseled, and encouraged while they were students. On the other hand, I sometimes also think of the ones who told me that school wasn’t important, or that learning wasn’t cool, or who uttered any number of other excuses. Some of the latter type were actually very intelligent, but in the long run, they failed to achieve anything other than minimum-wage status and, in some cases chronic depression, because of their lowly employment.

Intelligence is equally distributed among all ethnic and racial groups, yet I consistently observed that my “recent arrivals” from Asia, Europe, Latin Ameica and Africa–who only began to learn English upon their arrival in the US–frequently scored higher on both SAT/ACT exams and on high school graduation tests, as compared to native-born American students who were cursed with low motivation. Clearly, motivation to succeed made the difference for these immigrant students, as they had exposure to the same curriculum, the same teachers, and the same academic environment as the low motivation/low-achievers.

If someone doesn’t bother to pay attention while in high school, there is always a second chance at education. After all, this is the USA!

I would encourage Chris and those like him, to avail themselves of the classes that are out there–sometimes free-of-charge. Next month, once I clear my agenda of other projects, I intend to begin work with my county’s Literacy Volunteers. That is but one example of help that is available without charge. In other cases, Adult School classes and non-matriculation courses at local community colleges are available for fees that are fairly reasonable.

Many years ago, someone wrote to Ann Landers with the following dilemma: " I want to go back to school for 3 or 4 years in order to improve myself, but I will be XX years old by the time that I finish. Won’t that be too late?" Ann’s response was, “And how old will you be in 3 or 4 years if you don’t go back to school?”

Along those lines, in order to be able to qualify for a new second career, I went back to college after retiring from my first career in education. I was the oldest student in my classes–by far. Yes, I did feel a bit strange among 19-25 year olds, but I did what I needed to do. Imagine my pride when the professor of one of my law classes announced to the students that I was the only person who had ever achieved a perfect score on his final (essay) exam. And, upon graduation, along with my diploma, I was awarded a Certificate of Excellence for my status as the highest ranked student in that curriculum.

It is never too late to further yourself through education.

That is a funny letter. Thank you for sharing it.

I am also on the same page. Some years back, my son was in eighth grade in a laboratory school connected with a university. He was placed in a special creative writing class. His “compositions” were terrible; he would scribble out something in 15 minutes before he went to bed. The spelling was so poor that at least one third of the words weren’t recognizable. Punctuation was practically non-existent. Yet, he received an “A” for the class. The next term he was in the regular language arts class. He received an “F”. I went to the principal and tried to get the grade changed–not the “F” in language arts, but the “A” in creative writing. The principal asked what grade I wanted him to have in creative writing. "Give him an ‘F’, I replied. “He will then have a matched pair”. The creative writing teacher was present and informed me that my son had wonderful ideas. I replied that his wonderful ideas weren’t worth anything if he couldn’t express them clearly. The principal thought I was terrible for wanting to have my son’s grade lowered. “The terrible thing is that my son received a grade that he didn’t earn”, I responded. “Life doesn’t give you something for nothing”. I sent my son to a military academy for high school. Since high school he has earned a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree and his working toward a doctorate. He says that my decision to send him to military school was the wisest decision I ever made for him. He is an elementary teacher and his enthusiasm for learning is really conveyed to his students.

Just to let y’all know I got my GED on the first try with out studying one bit and I’m going back to school I start march 30th I’m going to uti to specalize in ford vehicles.

Hey Chris, That’s Terrific. What’s Going On With The Honda ?

How about an update?

Well it’s still acting up so I’m going to take it to one of my moms friends who builds drag cars.

Chris, that’s great. Lots of posts on this. To summarize:

Better writing skills = more money.

I guarantee it!

And don’t forget speaking skills. Technical skills are great and the ability to sell yourself is also extremely important. Excellent writing and speaking skills will allow you to do that. Maybe one day you can combine the skills you learn at UTI and on the job with excellent communications and become a good service adviser. They can earn an excellent salary.

People need a little help in writing. Most people speak in sentences. We could ask the person to: speak the sentence out loud; write the sentence (or, have someone else write the sentence); speak the next sentence and write it down; put a period at the end of each sentence; put a question mark at the end of each question. Continue this way until the tale is told.

My biggest pet peeve is the misuse of the words “there” and “your”.

“Your stupid”
“My stupid what?”

“there car”
“Where’s a car?”

VDCdriver and Triedaq:
Great inspirational stories. Your messages about motivation are so true. I was a high school flunky who barely graduated, and yet 10 years later I graduated with an engineering degree from MIT. It took endless hours of studying to go from one extreme to the other, but looking back, it was definitely worth it.

I remember when I first realized I wanted to go to college (starting out at a local community college), I was terrible at English. I knew someone who taught middle school English and I asked her what she thought I should do. She rounded up a set of workbooks for me to use for studying. I remember burying myself in those books, and that was my start on a long road to a college degree.

So to the OP (Chrisraceing):
Take the words of wisdom you’re hearing in this thread seriously. As you return to school, remember to stay with it and give it your all. In a few years you’ll be amazed at how many doors you opened up for yourself.

This thread has truly brought out the best in everyone involved,many heartfelt well expressed views,people showing personal sides of their lives in order to make a difference in someone elses life.

I can feel for you.  I have a hearing problem and I have always had a spelling problem.  It was not until I finished college that I found out what the problem was, even after seeming several doctors when I was a kid.  

I still have the hearing problem and spelling is still an issue, but rather than just giving up, I had to adjust in business. In my business life, I always needed a secretary, who would correct all my spelling errors as she typed my letters. Today I am lucky because almost everything I write is spell checked by my computer. In fact that is one of the reasons I am here. The practice and the spell checker I use helps me improve my spelling.

Don’t give up, it is a lot of work, but I believe that if you try you can do it as I did. Well almost did anyway, spelling errors or problems still come up. Writing this I could not figure out the correct spelling for “cureere”(sp)