Dr. Umesh Jain
is now exclusively responsible
for TotallyADD.com
and its content
Dr. Umesh Jain is now exclusively responsible for TotallyADD.com and its content

The Forums Forums What is it? Do I Have it? Can you have ADHD but still excel scholastically?

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 33 total)
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  • Anonymous
    #89036 |

    Lately been wondering if I had Aspergers, then cried during the film on PBS, because it explained a lot about my life – both my strengths and my weaknesses. Took the test on this site, 6/9 on inattentive part and 9/9 on hyperactive part. However, I excelled at school even though I was a disruptive (a talker and a smart-ass), and I was socially inept (there were times I had zero friends). Probably set the school record for AEUs (Grade: A, Work Habits: Excellent, Cooperation: Unsatisfactory). Voted Class Daydreamer and Most Likely to Succeed Without Even Trying. Loved test days – all I had to do was write down the answers! In grade school, I was given Iowa tests and always scored in top 1%, and one of my report cards said “Give him a top hat and can and he could entertain the class for hours”. Yet now my life seems a failure – for years excelled at my job and made a good income but am now living in my brother’s house, unable to get enough work to support myself, have lost everything; depressed, lonely and no hope for the future.

    I think my intelligence masked my problems. I was aware I was different from an early age (why can’t I be like everyone else? I would ask my mom), and by studying others I did teach myself some coping mechanisms and strategies. So far I haven’t heard of anyone else like this, it seems the ADHD is always paired with poor academic performance as a child.

    #99643 |

    I struggled in grade school but in high school I made the honor roll 3 times. In college, the dean list twice. My advise is to work with the Disability Department. Talk to teachers/professors about your ADHD. They can help you too. A professor would give me extra worksheets when I had trouble with math.

    #99644 |

    When I graduated elementary school, I was awarded several honours including top academic. Graduated 12 and 13, Ontario scholar and top female math award (98% in Calculus alone). School work was beyond easy for me. I read it, I remembered it. I was told it, I could regurgitate it on a test. I could BS my way through any kind of essay(many of which were sent on to contests-none of which won).

    I was also socially pathetic. Got into drugs because everything seemed so pointless, and tedious. On the outside, everything looked fine to my parents, but I couldn’t seem to get the motivation for a life plan. Never went to college or university. Never thought I could make it or cared enough to try. Why? Don’t remember. Just still not living up to potential.

    I agree with you, laffman, sometimes the intelligence can mask things. My sense of humour can be at varying times intellectual, sarcastic, slapstick, toilet, dry, pretty much any type out there. I can be exceptionally entertaining, but then I can be exceptionally annoying as well.

    I think it was said best in the documentary, not sure by which doc, (paraphrasing here) that when you’ve see one person with adhd, you’ve seen one person with adhd.

    #99645 |


    Pot seemed to be my best friend back then, and I could function really well while high… I was the only 11th grader in 12th grade calculus class, which I had for first period. Almost every day I’d smoke a joint while walking to school (and a few times a month took a Codeine from my mom’s stash) and I still got the 3rd highest grade in the class.

    Your sense of humor matches mine. If I could start over I would definitely be in the entertainment field, being immersed in the creative process and performing have always been where I felt most at home and “myself”. Get me on stage and I “turn on”, I sing and play guitar twice as good when I have an audience then in rehearsal.

    Sometimes it seems the hardest part is the loneliness… I still have trouble making new friends, and I’ve spent way too much of my life alone and isolated. Thank god I do have a few very close, special friends, but they don’t live near me anymore so I don’t get to see/talk with them very often. Sometimes I think that’s a good thing, because if I was around them too much I think I’d become to annoying.

    That’s why having a girlfriend was always important to me – so I wouldn’t be so lonely. But I somehow always seem to pick the wrong person to be with. At first they think I’m the greatest thing since sliced bread… and then later they find out I’m not who they thought I was. Now I understand why a little more…

    #99646 |

    ~”Sometimes I think that’s a good thing, because if I was around them too much I think I’d become to annoying.”~

    I hear ya there! As a friend, I am fiercely loyal! Too bad I’m not always observant. I’ve lost what I thought were really good friends through lack of follow-through, too much guffaw, not enough paying attention. Now I’m just too afraid to put myself out there for anything deeper than an occasional positive facebook comment, or maybe (gulp) coffee with a friend. I tend to stick close to home (hubby and kids and dogs). Feels safer that way. So, I too understand that loneliness. I can rarely be my true self with anyone. Lately, I’ve discovered that my youngest daughter has much the same sense of humour and creative ideas as myself. It’s a huge relief to have someone to have those “other-worldly” conversations with, to laugh hysterically over something so “non-linear”. I wish I had had that when growing up.

    Question-Any chance you can get into the entertainment industry? Maybe not as a career, but as a hobby? I guess I just am so happy for anyone who knows where they have a passion, that I wish for them to parttake in it. I have yet to find my passion. I love doing anything and everything…..for a while. ;)

    Patte Rosebank
    #99647 |

    Sure you can. If you’re of very high intelligence, you can find ways to cope. It also helps if you go to a school with very low standards (as I did, until 2/3 of the way through Grade 6), and if, in high school, you can choose courses which really interest you.

    In Elementary School, I got straight A’s in everything (except Handwriting, in which I got D’s and E’s), and won academic awards, and I barely had to try. In class, I’d finish my work way ahead of everyone else, so I’d flip over the ditto sheet (with its purple aniline ink and vinegary smell) and draw pictures on the back of it. When Mom had me transferred to a school that actually had standards, and that actually gave a damn when a kid was being bullied to death, suddenly, I had to really work…and I discovered that Math was a huge struggle for me. I still did well, just not as well as before.

    In High School, I had a hell of a time with Math (which my parents made me take at the Advanced level, since I would be going to University), but most other subjects interested me enough (or had interesting enough teachers) that I made the Honour Roll in every year except Grade 9. When I graduated Grade 13, I got the Drama Award and the Latin Award, for earning the highest marks of any student, through all the years I’d taken those classes.

    University was an entirely different matter. I always felt like a fish out of water, and very frightened. For starters, my parents (who controlled the purse-strings) wouldn’t let me pursue Theatre, even though I was really good at it, and I loved it. No, I had to take something sensible: English! There is a reason why there is a song called “What Do You Do With a B.A. in English?” In my case, most of the classes I took involved the study of plays, but even so, the lecture format (as opposed to the discussion-based interactive format of Elementary and High School) was anathema to me. So I frequently cut classes to go the the big Reference Library to watch and study old comedy films (especially Laurel & Hardy and Harold Lloyd films) and research their creators. I still have my analysis of “Leave ‘Em Laughing”, complete with plot graph. And I firmly believe that I did my studies at university, but I got my actual education on my own, in that library.

    Also, I couldn’t handle the full course-load, so I switched to part-time, and worked in Front-of-House at a theatre, and took part in some campus drama groups. My first year, I was one of the old ladies in “Arsenic & Old Lace”, with Adam Growe—who now hosts “Cash Cab”. Even with the lighter load of part-time, I’m still not quite sure how I managed to get that B.A. in English, and I still have the occasional nightmare in which the university sends me a registered letter saying they made a mistake, and I need one more credit to graduate.

    So, yeah, you can still excel scholastically. Provided you’re taking the right courses, and provided you can tailor the learning process to suit your unique learning style.

    As for joining the entertainment field, there are so many of us on here with talent and leanings in that direction that maybe we should put together a “TotallyADD Showcase” some night. Other support groups do it, why not us?

    (And the first one who says, “Because we’d never all show up in the right theatre, on the right night”, gets thumped…)

    #99648 |


    Read your posts……… You might be the missing link I was looking for …….. I have been reading tons of posts here and many authors have similar “symptoms” as I. But and I mean big But you seem to have many of the same specific issues I am struggling with …………

    I hope we get to chat further……..

    #99649 |

    yeah, i did really well in primary school (upto age 11)- because the solid structure was there, plus the short term focus (30 mins to an hour per topic, then on to something else), the enthusiastic introduction of every new topic got me hooked, and the race to finish first, and huge pat on the head at the end of the session for doing so well kept me engaged- it was interesting, easy, and fun. i was considered ‘gifted’ and put into special additional programs, offered a scholarship and bursary to attend a very posh local private school (my parents declined it) and so on.

    at secondary level (11-16) things started gradually falling apart for me- there were too many balls in the air at once, too much self-led planning, learning and time-management was expected of me, the homework load didn’t give me decent recouperation time, i started struggling socially and with depression, my always rocky family situation was sliding out from under my feet, etc. i still got great grades, but my attendance level dropped to around 50%, and i was medicated to pretty much zombified, or in a sort of persistant breakdown state, and barely functional.

    college i screwed up entirely, repeately. i got into self-medicating big time (i’d smoke as much weed as i could lay my hands on, pop caffeine pills, drink as many shots as i could get in during lunch, take anything i could get hold of) i started realising that i had a choice whether or not to try, or bother- that i didn’t have to be a good girl, and that working for the reward of praise was a pretty pointless and shallow endeavour, so i stopped trying, my self esteem fell through the floor as i struggled with my weight, allergies, depression, acne, ibs, lack of an intimate relationship, crappy home environment, etc… i started helping with other peoples schoolwork (to the point of doing it for them on occasion) and not bothering with my own, and the praise stopped coming, so i stopped going… and the rest of the friends fell away as a result.

    i remember many many hysterical sobbing meltdowns during my teens over why i just couldn’t be like everyone else, and stop screwing up the same bloody stuff over and over again (failing to keep up with math once it got into weird symbols and scientific calculator-territory and stopped making practical sense, failing to make and keep friends cos of my inability to use tact and rein in my mis-understood sense of humour, failing to have the mental stamina to organise and wade through my courseload, etc, failure to get a boyfriend cos they could all see how screwed up i was from a mile away- so wouldn’t touch me with anyone elses ten foot pole- unless they were taking advantage of how incredibly vulnerable i was), myself.

    by the time i hit 20 i’d stopped crying- not cos it stopped hurting or cos i’d solved any of my issues, but cos i’d got sick of hearing myself wailing the same crap, and sick of running headfirst at brick walls and not getting anywhere with it. i just… stopped- pretty much everything.

    university never happened for me- cos i had no desire to get into debt, had absolutely no clue what i might want to study for longer than 20 minutes solid- let alone do with a certificate in it, and knew i couldn’t realistically function living away from home (i couldn’t even get up on time, let alone work a full 9 hour day, keep up with household management, feed myself, and get in enough sleep).

    work never really ‘worked’ out for me either- i held down various part time jobs, on and off, for variable time periods, did volunteer work here and there, collected unemployment and incapacity benefits when i couldn’t work due to stress, and heard about how smart i was and how much potential i had, until i wanted to gouge out my brain via my ears with a blunt pencil.

    friendships fall by the wayside or just never really form cos people try and initiate friendships but i hold them ata rms length, i get tired trying to fit in, there is an expectation of calling people, going out and doing things, caring about pop-culture crap, generally following through, hehehe- and i apparently fail at that stuff. i didn’t get into a relationship that went beyond ‘be incredibly drunk and needy, get assaulted, and keep running back for more hell cos somebody thinks you’re worthy of touching’ until i was 24, and i grabbed hold of the one good guy i found get for dear life, and haven’t let go.

    ……..and now aged 30 i’m really starting to panic about having no career, little by way of qualifications, no pension, limited ability to function as an adult (dire time management, lousy stamina, no patience or impulse control, little motivation and drive), and absolutely no plan.

    you’re definately not the only one, by any means.

    #99650 |

    wow,and now i will sell it backwards wow ha ha. ok now the trurth is a lot of undersand just enough about ourselves to get started , but not foused enough to come up with a plan ,then sticking to it. the sad thing is it does not seem to matter if you have a high IQ or alow one like me . we are all seem to have the same story . the lack of long term intrest and planing and a history of self medacating,is seeming to be two common.so why are are storys so alike and yet we are all looking for ansewers and yet the rest of the would think thatwe are lazy , crazy or stupid . if that were true and the rest of the world thinks they are so smart why cant they tell or show use how to fix all these things that they dont think are hard things to deal with. I think most of us dont mind being adhd we just want to be acceped and have a sucessfull life . I think if they new all the effort alot of us have made to try fit in or find are place they would not call us names or think less of us or treat us as if we have little to no value. so what do we do now there already is a comody net work , adoes any one now where ti get funding for a ADHD network. that might be very enretaning then they would see alot of creative stuff coming out of the wood work so to speak. the thinhg is we would have to be run by non adders or we would probably forget to go to air lol. I can see it all the hipe for a new station and no one shows up that day or on time ,I can see where that would be no laughfing mtter , but some of us might be laughfing anyway. All we would have to do is start to huypper focus and put on a great show. I better stop daydriming and finsh,so thanks for letting me be a part of all this.

    Patte Rosebank
    #99651 |

    @trashman – “ADHD Network”…That sounds like the premise for a sitcom that would get us into loads of trouble from the “politically correct” people, who would be grossly offended that we were mocking ADHD and the struggles that their children are facing. But we could just laugh at those complaints, because we know all about life with ADHD!

    #99652 |

    the ADD network would be awesome. low IQ my arse. :P

    i think its in the nature of most average people with a pretty narrow veiw of the world to pass judgement on everyone and everything else, trashman, and to assume that their experience must be how it is for everyone else.

    many people really can’t see past the end of their nose- let alone far enough to put themselves in anothers shoes, or to try and comprehend where they’re maybe coming from (i think thats another one of our wonderful ADHD traits- being able to think outside of the box and see the bigger picture!), and those who can- they maybe don’t always stop and think, they just assume- thats something thats easily done- for all of us.

    when the world *is* ‘exactly how they see it’ for somebody, and when everything exists in black and white with no shades of grey, it makes a sad kinda sense that if ‘try harder’ and ‘pay more attention’ was a strategy that worked for them, they can’t quite see why it wouldn’t for us. cos you know- why wouldn’t it? everyone can pay attention if they really want to… apparently… right?! :P

    still… sometimes its quite funny to watch their brains explode at the idea of anything outside of their scope of experience being potentially ‘true’- even if it is entertainment that we pay for a little bit with hurt feelings and by pulling our hair out a lot.

    i know i’d much rather be on the receiving end of someone elses dumbarsery every once in a while, than have to BE the dumbarse.

    maybe we just need to help them understand. quite possibly with large flashcards, and by jacking them up on coffee and then poking them repeatedly with spoons and distracting them constantly with big, loud, flashy and noisy things, and all talking at them at once, so they can start to relate to how it feels to have ADHD.

    ok, i’ve got cutlery sorted- who is up for stealing one of those blue flashing lights off a cop car? :D

    #99653 |

    I had poor grades in public and high school and the first time I went to college. I didn’t bother doing homework or really focus on getting good grades. I always knew the answer and would blurt it out before the teacher even had a chance to finish asking the questions. I would intuitively get the answer in math but would get a failing mark because I couldn’t prove my work. I usually ended up with the poorest math teacher with the lowest skill level who needed a filler course and could convince him of my hair ball reason for why my answer that could possibly in a different universe be correct. My poor social skills led the guidance counselor in grade 5 to ask someone to volunteer to be my friend. (On a different note we have now been friends for 32 years with some different moments of her wanting to be with someone cooler which would leave me baffled and despondent). I was the blue bullet. I had a nylon hood on my jacket and I would run around at recess solving the worlds problems as the “Blue Bullet” instead of really interacting with my peers. I hung around the supervision teacher and would entertain them with stories from my imaginary world. Later when it was no longer appropriate to act out my fantasy world I joined solitary but social activities such as library club and newspaper so that I could still look like I was part of something but was basically left alone. I was always picked last in sports so I invented reasons not to participate in gym or recess. In grade 8 during one of the periods where me and my bff were not talking (she wasn’t talking to me) I slipped into a severe depression and read 22 hours a day for 9 months. Great for my vocabulary but at that time no one seemed to notice. I failed grade 8 and had to take summer school to make it up. For 6 weeks we did everything that was taught in one year and I ended up with the best marks of my life up to that point.

    I attended high school with my peers and I was suddenly in a bigger pond where there was even less attention paid to my individual eccentricities. I could choose the classes where I would flourish and ignore the ones I wouldn’t. I have absolutely no ability to pick up a second language. I can memorize it but ten minutes later it is simply gone. So instead I took film studies which plays to my strengths of irrelevant trivia. I have an incredible memory for things that interest me but I am a big picture learner. I never remember the word for word of a conversation but can repeat what we talked about 20 years later if I can picture it in my mind. After grade 9 I didn’t have to show how uncoordinated I was in a gym class but could entertain people with my stories in English class. My marks still weren’t great but I passed everything except math because I could remember enough to spit it out on a test. Math I did two or three times each but eventually passed. Never really learning the material enough to be fluent but could memorize enough to pass.

    The first time I went to college I decided that I wanted to be a broadcast journalist. I never read the paper or watched boring news but it seemed like it would be a great career. I talked my way into the program because when I am dreaming big I can always convince someone else of my sincerity. I was 17 years old, wet behind the ears but I worked exceptionally hard at this. But I lacked discipline and I had a really hard time talking to strangers. So that meant that I would stammer through interviews and usually tried to interview people I knew. But as an added bonus I made a few “friends” that I saw every day and kept them entertained with my stories. The fact that I still had a hard time completing assignments on time ultimately meant I dropped out after 1 semester.

    When I decided, after a particularly depressing period, when I found out that the person I thought was my boyfriend was actually just using me, to join the military I took the testing and did fantastic. The careers open to me were astounding. I could be an engineer or an astronaut. What I wanted to be was an Oceanographic Operator because you spent all your time on a Naval base plotting courses for ships and watching sea life. It sounded fantastic but they convinced me that I should become a Supply Clerk. Pretty heady stuff, eye roll. But when I got to the training base I found it really difficult to follow instructions constantly and live with 33 other people 24 hours a day. I was always one step behind when drill was called out because of the echo and would wait until people started to move and mimic them. I didn’t function well on 3 hours sleep, had a really hard time sleeping with all the distractions of other people and barely avoided becoming a “individual”. The lack of sleep caused my double vision and migraines to flare up repeatedly and at Christmas time I ended up being hospitalized with pneumonia. I was told just before I went home for Christmas break that I was being released because of my migraines and double vision, so when I went back after the break I knew I only had two more weeks to live through before I was free. So suddenly I could just enjoy it. Instead of the commanders barking at me making me want to cry I just smiled and did my thing. What could they really do to me, I was going home anyway. I met my husband in Base Holding because his mother had passed away and he was given a compassionate discharge to be with his senior father. My quirkiness drew him to me and I made him laugh instead of having to always remember his mothers passing. That was 22 years ago, and we have now been married 21 years and we still laugh and have a good time together.

    So now I am married to a person who supports us and I stay home and be the front line person. I am free to pursue the activities that make me happy and to raise our kids. My spouse was raised by parents who were already creeping to middle age when he was born and his siblings were over 15 years older then him. He was an only child of parents who already knew the ropes and let him basically have his way in 90 percent of everything. He was encouraged to follow his mews wherever it took him and to spend as much time as possible pursuing quiet or outdoor activities that did not divert the attention of his very busy and tired parents. Things that were too expensive for younger parents struggling with mortgage payments were no barrier and he had everything his little heart desired to dismay of his older siblings who were trying to bring up children at the same time and watching this brother get everything they could not afford to give their own children. So he is spoiled and used to getting his own way. He is old fashioned but a great believer in the invincibility of women cause his own mother was superwoman. He also likes his own privacy when he is home and spends a great amount of time apart. Once in a while he will decide that I should get a job and work out of the home. As long as I am still available at his beck and call, and still have 100 percent responsibility for the kids. Meals must be ready when he is ready to eat (even if the kids have to heat up soup for him) and he likes us to be there to listen to his stories. So every once in a while I leave the house in pursuit of a career to show remind him how much he hates it. I have pursued Clerk Typist, Computer Programmer, and finally I pursued Business Administration. I got fantastic marks in Business Administration, I was 15 years older then most and had been here before. I love accounting and economics and most of the courses. I used my love of computers and the courses that I had previously taken while trying to be a computer programmer and graduated on the Presidents List with a Business Administration Diploma with E-Commerce Specialization. The classes that I did especially well in I would end up tutoring my peers. I was on the Deans List and the Presidents list of the college but then the professors said that business also wanted a well rounded person. I needed to volunteer my hours. So we re-started the Business Society and I became the Social Director and Vice President. We raised money for activities that we wanted to pursue and had film clubs and pub crawls for the younger members.

    Then I started my own business after college and was quite successful as long as I didn’t mind working 18 or 19 hours a day. I took on jobs that were money losers so I didn’t disappoint anyone and spent a great deal of every day driving between jobs because I never really efficiently set up a schedule to minimize wasted hours. My kids ended up as slaves to the business because there was always someone who needed us. After 2 years I was burned out and the weather was too hot to stay there any longer. When we moved back to Alberta we decided that our new city would not really accommodate this business without a lot of drastic changes so I went to work for someone else. I took job after job that started out fun but would quickly become mundane and would usually bring me into conflict with my co-workers. Finally 2 years ago I decided to just bow out again. I was approached last spring to be a life insurance agent. It sounded good until I found out that you were really going to be hitting up your family and friends to become your customer. But I quickly got my license and I found it really easy even though they all complained they had to do it 2 or 3 times or just barely passed. So I have my license and have never been on an appointment. But it is mine and no one can take it away, yeah me.

    To make a long story short (too late) I have always found academics easy. I am a storer of incredible fonts of knowledge and usually use this to help my friends, acquaintances, and strangers but really have no real desire to put myself out there any more. I am quirky and march to my own drum and most people just don’t “get” me. My spouse thinks I walk on water most of the time even though I am a terrible housekeeper but I’m an incredible friend. I do my own thing and have trained him that he gets 1 request a day. If I get more then 1 thing done that is a bonus but don’t count on it. So today it may be do the litter boxes or the laundry but probably not both. Some days lightning can strike and he better comment on it and praise me. He is really good with this and that makes putting up with his spoiled bad tempered self worth it. My castle is my fortress and I am safe within my walls. Maybe one day I will find that one thing that suddenly starts my engine and makes me want to leave my little cocoon. But so far I am happy to just be me.

    #99654 |

    hi, again mybe we need a group submitted pod cast section, there might be some prity interesting submitions. I think It might give us a real diferent view of how all these people from all over the world thinks and views themselves while living with there adhd. granted some of the podcast might not have alot of value ,yet could be entertaning. then again there might be some very good insights. it seems to me there are so many people that are adhd and very creative with no place to share the talents they have. this could fit in to the hole adhd way of life and fit as part of this toataly add.com family. just thinking out loud so to speak.

    #99655 |

    YES ABSOLUTELY GO FOR IT! even despite tremendous obstacles EMPOWER YOURSELF!!!!!!!!!!

    I tried to read through most of this thread but AGHHHH why do we the ADD afflicted ramble on in writing and speech so often? Well, my turn eh?

    I have a BA in Liberal Arts from The Evergreen State College with an Emphasis declared in Counseling Psychology. I graduated in 2005. I am 35 now and planning to go back for an MSW. I consider my life a tremendous success and school/education is the key.

    In grade school I went to 20+ schools – no that’s not hyperbole! In almost every one I was in “behavioral” classrooms. I fought like a rabid bear against bullies on the schoolyard or in the neighborhood, and many-many-many times in the classrooms during lessons. I was a very lean and mean little kid if you picked on me – which was nearly everyone – or so I felt. I even broke into and burglarized a house at 5 years old because I was mad at the neighbor kid for picking on me. I tried to commit suicide that same year by running out in front of a car at night (so you think YOU’RE impulsive eh?). Hey folks I am FULL THROTTLE WIDE OPEN ADHD COMBINED TYPE. I was first diagnosed in 3rd grade by a pediatrician (he was cool – he was funny and could throw a tongue depressor into the trash from across the exam room). He put me on “Dextroamphetamine” aka speed or pink hearts, and back in the 70’s I think it was a main ingredient in diet pills (DexaTrim). My mom was way into Dr. Shackley’s products as my grandmother was a distributor of this multilevel marketing firm’s products. They specialized in organic stuff before it became the cool thing to do. Anyway, Mom was terrified of me having negative side effects from the drug like “stunted growth” and took me off after a very short trial. I don’t remember what it was like – all I have left is “swiss cheese” in my memory banks due to alot of trauma back then. Seriously I had a very rough childhood – not enough time to share that. Mom was even afraid of Fluoride toothpaste! OH and the sugar restriction was UNBEARABLE. I remember going so totally desperate for access to candy it drove me to door to door labor to earn money from my neighbors mowing lawns and other odd jobs. That work was actually very good for me though.

    After Mom took me off the meds the school took me out of the classroom – literally. After 3rd grade (wait was it 2nd grade?), I was not back into “normal” classrooms (it called integrated education) until 9th grade. I went to 4 different high schools by the time I got to the one i finally dropped out of at 18. at age 20 I got a GED (I aced reading and comprehension, got a good score in nearly everything – I was shocked at how smart I was) so I could go to a Portrait/Commercial Photographer course at a local technical school. I enrolled one quarter late but the y let me in anyway. After the quarter was up the instructor told me: Mike I’m giving you a choice, either I’ll give you an F or no credit – what’s your choice? He informed me that I was “too creative” and needed to go to the Art Institute of Seattle to study art photography. Furthermore, the purpose of his program was to teach people how to take pictures as an occupation. There were certain “rules” of this occupation that must be followed, and I was not following them. All of my submissions were worthless in his program – “too creative”. I left after that (took the no credit option – wise choice).

    I didn’t return to school until I was 24, broke, and eligible for financial aid after spending an inheritance intended to pay for my college of choice (it was over $100,000 and I still regret spending it).

    I was fired from ACE Hardware after 1 year of faithful employment – I was late the third time in 12 months and the third offense was actually literally on daylight savings/spending day. I was off by an hour in my internal clock. They called me and asked where I was, and I was like “I’m getting ready to come in what’s up?” Uhhhh mike your already late it’s…. ARhhhhh!

    I was fired on the spot after sprinting 2 miles from my house to work.

    Within the same week I remembered that I could go to school now because I had no money left (i grew up dirt poor on welfare and got money from my trust fund to live off of from 18 to about 22 ). I decided to go to my local community college and sign up.

    So i got signed up for community college, took classes like Reading and Writing Improvement (didn’t need to because I tested into English 101 but was too scared to take that the first quarter) , College Success 101, and weight training (exercise helps me study). I was still wading through some intense mental trauma and disorder left over from my first 15 years of life, so school was a powerful maturing experience. I really blossomed in college. I developed a voracious appetite for psychology and social work (go figure eh?). This came from a coping mechanism i used before going to college: I often went to the library and studied my way out of depressive episodes and panic attacks – I read alot of stuff about personality psychology and then the fire just spread to the rest of my brain. Next thing I knew I was signing up for any Psychology class i could get my pen on.

    I transferred to TESC while 10 credits short of an AA. Who needs it I figured – yah well… it would have been nice considering i DID walk in graduation ceremony… Oh yeah I went to the community college when I was 20 and paid for it myself but then walked out and never came back to class. That pulled my GPA down to a 3.45 rather than 3.55 (honors – sigh – no cords for me!). Ok so back to Olympia – TESC. I graduated in 2005 (we geoducks don’t assign “grades” we wrote evaluations instead).

    OK I have been writing too long; some of your attention spans are hanging on by a thread just like me by this point so I am going to stop my rant now. Thanks for reading. I have lot’s of fun stories like this – all true too. I feel like a walking miracle every day yet life is a constant struggle with ADD. Thus I am here reaching back to you as you reach out to me. Welcome me – welcome you.

    #99656 |

    Thanks for the post MIKE

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