I spent much of my younger years in the part of my city that they call Bum Town. As I was forced to do, I went to school in Bum Town and that schooling was pretty much a waste of my time. In school, I was asked to memorize lies. I was asked to have some sort of politically correct response to stories that seemed to have insanity as their main plot. I was asked to learn a foreign language that the teacher couldn’t use to communicate with students who actually spoke the foreign language. I could see that memorizing lies wasn’t going to get me where I wanted to go.
One thing that I did find out, in school, was that I could fight. When the little boys tried to push me around, I hit back. I an a little larger than average and I am very strong.
Once I found that I had to fight, I learned how to fight, scientific. I studied the various fighting systems and found one that worked well for me. In fact, the fighting system worked so well that I wound up in juvenile prison, charged with what would have been murder in an adult. (The ‘trial’ that I had wouldn’t let me call witnesses and allowed testimony from a boy who wasn’t even there. The constitution turns out to be a document with no relevance.)
In juvie, they didn’t have teachers to push the memorization of lies. Instead, what they had was a computer-based system that required me to learn things that would be of some use to me, for the rest of my life. There was no attempt to evaluate my emotional response to the material, just if I could answer relevant questions.
Given a chance to learn useful things, I learned to write clear, concise things that actually meant something to the reader and were not just a recitation of how I felt about a subject. I learned math and how to think so that my conclusions related to the real world. However, the best thing that I learned, while I was in juvie was how to program computers. It turned out that I was good at programming computers and I could actually see ways to earn some money by programming computers.
I worked hard, while I was in juvie, and I had actually earned a real two-year college degree, by the time I turned eighteen and the powers that be forced me to leave juvie.
I could pass employment tests and I got a job, programming computers. I found that I was really good at programming computers, in a real-world environment. Unfortunately, I only had a two-year college degree and I found that I had to have a four-year college degree to really be a computer programmer. I was making less than half the wages of what the four-year college guys were making and I was doing more and better work than they were. I talked to management, but they told me that what I was being paid was the correct wage for a two-year college degree holder.
I found that some of the people that I worked with had degrees in things like history or art. But they had the magic four-year degree and I didn’t. When they had trouble with math, they came to me for help. But they had the magic four-year degree and I didn’t. My main problem wasn’t a lack of knowledge or ability, but a lack of a magic four-year diploma.
I checked around a bit and found that my lack of the magic four-year college degree wasn’t just a problem at my current employer, but at least a city-wide problem.
I checked around a bit more and found that I could get a scholarship at a new wave school. A scholarship that would support me, a disadvantaged kid, while I earned the magic four-year, high-wage college degree. The problem was that I needed to front $1,000, to get into the new wave school scholarship system.
With a clear goal in sight, I began to work days, programming computers and then work nights, ripping off Bum Town street drug dealers.
The individual street drug dealers were no problem, for me. I could knock a street drug dealer unconscious, take his money and prevent him from buying more drugs to sell. Unfortunately, there was an organization behind the individual street drug dealers. The organization began to send out hard boys to stop the ripping off of the individual street drug dealers. I had no desire at all to find out if I could handle one of the hard boys, one on one.
By the time of the hard boys, I now had a bit over $850 saved. I needed one last, good sized, hit and I would have the school entry fee. Unfortunately, time was running short for the signup period.
The hard boys had begun to watch the places where I had been operating. However, there was one place that I had avoided. Riveredge was a very dangerous place, but there were a lot of drug dealers operating there. If I could survive one big hit, in Riveredge, then I could begin to live my dream. The man who would earn the magic four-year degree must dare any dare, fight any fight and win!