Sunday, February 10, 2008

More on my Journey

So I've told you all that I'm trying to get into space, and I told you that I started in High School, but I haven't given you any idea about what I've done so far. So let me tell you how my life has been warped and twisted by this endeavor!

The first step was college. This was a bit of a stickler for me. Now I daresay it's easy to get funding for college (through loans, if nothing else) so long as your grades are good. Unfortunately for me, grades have never been my strong suit. However, I knew college would be essential if I was to get into space. Back then, there were no operating space tourism companies, but I assumed that space travel would be prohibitively expensive. The relevant statistic here is that college graduates, on average, make a million dollars more during their lifetimes. This brings me to my first rule for getting into space:

Rule 1: Go to College.

I'm not saying that it's impossible to get into space without going to college, but it will be a lot harder. And yeah, college is a drag. Doubly so for me. But it has to be done.

But back to my problem. Grades. Blah. The way I feel about grades can be summed up by the following list of more accurate measurements of a student's abilities:
1. How far the student can spit.
2. The distance between the student's nostrils.
3. The height of the student's best friend.
4. A random number between one and a million.
5. The sum of the student's phone number.
6. 28.

As you have probably guessed by now, my grades were horrid. I'll save further rants about our terrible grading system for another post. On to college! My college of choice had a two-tiered application process. If you had a high school GPA of 3.00, you could fill out a simple form. If it was lower, you had to fill out a more complex form and submit an essay. My high school GPA was (drumroll) 2.98. What a frustrating number that was! It wasn't that I didn't do the work; it's just that I didn't learn the way everyone expected me to. 95% of high school classes relied on memorization through repetition. I, frankly, suck at that. I'm much much better at memorization through experience, but high school is not known for teaching by hands-on example. As a result, I fought tooth-and-nail until my fingertips were but bloody stumps to get that 2.98! But then I realized, one summer, I took a course at a local community college, because it was on some advanced topics of a subject I was interested in (computer science), which they barely taught at all in high school. I was given a choice, and in my infinite wisdom, I opted to take it as college credit so that I would have just a smidgen done when I finally did make it to college. I got an A in that course, but could I really claim it as high school credit, having already racked up 4 college credits for it? Could I really play the system like that? Could I really channel this warped and twisted system to my own design?

Turns out I could!

That A bumped me up to a 3.01 GPA, just enough to let me slip into my college of choice! But I'll quit boring you now. College is important, blah blah blah. Later, I'll bore you about my college years, and perhaps go off on that whole grades rant I promised. See you there!

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