A story involving my transformation into an exceptional academic.

I loathed reading and writing when I was younger. All I wanted to do was watch Dallas Stars hockey, listen to Metallica and sleep all day. Reading always put me to sleep. I specifically remember reading “Galileo” and “Grapes of Wrath” and just sitting there daydreaming, staring at the page, pretending to read. I had absolutely no perspective of the future at all. Grades had no meaning to me whatsoever, which led to my not graduating high school. In a decision that was based more on emotion and anger toward education I decided not to go to college, and chose to work for a while in retail instead. I took some horrid abuse from some really nasty people while I was there. I was once blamed for ruining someone’s entire Christmas because their finger was over the lens of the camera (I managed a photo lab at the time). Another time a customer actually threatened physical violence against me because I wouldn’t scurry around the store and do his shopping for him.  One year I chose to go all three hundred and sixty five days of it without a day off because I was so immersed in my work that I ignored my body’s increasingly urgent demands for repose. I am a deeply introverted person by nature, which makes retail one of the most dreadful occupations I could have ever chosen. The constant customer confrontations triggered my fight or flight response over and over causing an abnormal amount of strain on my adrenal glands. This did severe damage to my blood sugar metabolism.

One day, after nearly a decade in this industry, I was working in a music retail store that supplies instruments, accessories, and lessons to kids getting into beginning band in middle school. A customer walks in looking to purchase a professional saxophone for his progressing band student.

“I’m sorry sir, but your credit check was declined for our financing, would you like to try layaway instead?” I ask.

“No, I have a friend who might be willing to put it under his name.”

 He proceeds to call his friend, and forty five minutes or so later the man shows up.

“I just need you to fill out the information on this slip so I can check your credit please.” I relay to the friend.

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