Just a note on school days! 

Just a note on school days! 

So after my post the other day where I led with school days are not the best days of your life, well I don’t really change that opinion and some of the teachers I had were pure mad and/or evil. But to clarify, I also had some great teachers who cajoled, nurtured and guided as they knew I hated school but they still helped me get through it as best they could and to the best I wanted to. 

Even in college my lecturers were great at guiding me through adult education, which believe me wasn’t easy but with the help of lecturers and classmates I made it through it and done a lot better than I had ever done in school. Being more mature, older even, going to college helped a lot as I choose exactly what subject matter I wanted to study and worked hard to achieve the results I knew I was capable of. It took the hard work and study hours to get the results in exams and assignments but I enjoyed it as I enjoyed the subjects I had chosen. 

I know a lot of teachers, even my mother in law was a teacher, so I wouldn’t tarnish them all with the same brush of being egotistical, mad or evil. A lot, and more than likely the vast majority are brilliant educators but I was talking about 1970’s and 1980’s Ireland were corporal punishment in schools was considered the norm. And remember if you got a whack of a leather from a teacher, the chances are you were going to get another one when you got home, innocent or not! 

Above is a typical leather strap that was used in schools for years. I had one teacher who wore it strapped to his belt and could draw it faster than a western movie cowboy to give you a clip of it across the arm as he walked passed you if you were looking around or not concentrating on class. 

I won’t say I was bullied or worse as some children were but my school days were not my favourite time of my life. Now I am older and can look back on it, I still can say they are not the best days of your life. To all the past and present teachers I know, good luck in the hard thankless job you do and I am glad education has moved on from where it was in the 70’s and 80’s in Ireland. 

So are school days the best days of your life?

So are school days the best days of your life?

My simple answer is No! I hated every minute of school, reckoned it only thought me how to read, write, add up and get out of bed on time. All things I could and would have learnt as part of growing up without the need for some egotistical teacher to annoy me. Anyway the purpose of this post is today marks a big milestone in my son’s life. He has finished secondary school (High school) and received his final results from his state exams. 

He may not have done as well as he hoped but he still has plenty of options. When I finished school back in 1984, those same options were not available and jobs were hard to find. But I managed to get a job, which led to another job and finally a 23 year career in the Irish Defence Forces. Regrets? Absolutely none. If college was an option back then I more than likely would have had to go, but I wouldn’t have wanted to. 

Fast forward to 2004, I made a decision to get some college education before I turned 40, I gave myself 3 years to achieve this and considering I had very little academic leanings, the first part was tough. Learning how to write and present college assignments was hard but I achieved my first certificate a year later, scoring quite high. I wanted to do better, do more. But the clincher for me was I was more mature than 18, I was choosing a subject matter I had a real interest in and I wanted to succeed. 

What followed was a 1 year Diploma in Public Relations with an added Diploma in Event Management. Again I loved the course, the learning, the classmates I met and am still in touch with today. What I didn’t enjoy was 6 exams in a few short days but I got over it and done really well. I was learning my strengths and weaknesses, assignments and projects were my strength, exams and study my weakness. I had achieved my goal of getting a National Diploma before I turned 40. 

And so my career in the Defence Forces ended a day I had some spare time on my hands so I decided to go and try get my Degree in Media. I done a 1 year introduction Diploma, getting Distinctions in nearly every module. I followed this up with a 2 year Higher Diploma, equivalent to an Associate Degree here in the USA, and again I achieved Distinctions in nearly all modules except 2, in which I received Merits. This is from someone who only passed subjects in school and walked away with 5 D’s and a F in his Leaving Cert. 

Fair enough it is a different world now, and college is readily available, but maybe it is wasted on 17/18/19 year olds only out of school. I know it definitely would have been on me and I wouldn’t have got the results I did get if I had gone to college at 17 instead of 40 ish. 

I still have one more goal, my Honors degree but that will have to wait a while, maybe a long while. But to anyone struggling with results today and limited options, remember, Rome wasn’t built in day, you can always come back and do college, more mature, stronger and brighter. 

And lastly I am a proud Dad, Robert completed school, done his exams, gave it his best shot and is about to start on a whole new chapter in his life, he is no longer a schoolboy, but a young adult. Love you son. Hold your head up high, be proud of yourself and who you have become and enjoy being a young adult.