Things I Learned and Where I Learned Them

Things I Learned and Where I Learned Them

In elementary school, I learned very little.  I learned to read, write, add, subtract, multiply and divide.  All the best attempts in the world couldn’t get me to understand grammar, history, spelling or anything else.  I did, however, learn to play trumpet and developed a passion for music and band.

Cub Scouts taught me how to do some cool things like make a hidden lock for a drawer or box.

Junior high school taught me to love electronics and algebra.  I had a good algebra teacher, and another teach ran a makeshift repair class.   I continued with band, and I also started to develop a love for photography.

Boy Scouts taught me I can make do with very little.  I can make a sink with a few rocks and a plastic bag.  I also can make a stool using 3 sticks, some rope and some tough fabric. You can make a shelter with tree boughs.  Or, you can cook on a rock or in an orange peel.  Boy Scouts taught me life skills that gave me confidence to do things others don’t dare.

High school taught me people can be cruel at others expense.  (I later learned the cruel kids are the losers of adulthood.)  I learned to love science and follow a scientific method of discovery.

After school jobs taught me you have to be on time, where you are supposed to be when you are supposed to be, and you have to work hard.  If you are willing to do stuff others hate doing, you will always have work.  This applies to pulling weeds and digging holes as well as talking to people you don’t know.

My Mission

Wow… where do I begin.  My mission taught me to be stand up for what you believe in.  It takes effort to get along with people, but they will appreciate you for it.  People who want to argue with you are typically trying to prove a falsehood and therefore, you’re wasting your time.  But most importantly, it taught me that God is real, and that he lives.

When it came to courtship (in my 20s), I learned the hard way.  I learned that if someone belittles you, don’t shrug it off and make excuses that they are only joking or teasing.  Turn and run away.  A tiger doesn’t change its stripes is the lesson I learned.


College taught me to focus and concentrate.   This was something I hadn’t been able to do most of my life, but now it was sink or swim.  Good grades were going to make the difference between getting by, and getting ahead.

Advanced mathematics (calculus, trigonometry, number theory, etc.) taught me that all things in nature can be described by a mathematical formula.  Given the formula, you can predict the future.  The hard part is, knowing what the formula is.  This caused me to excel in mathematics, and later computer science.

By hanging around the instructors after hours, I learned you can learn more from them after school than you can during school.  Team up with the smart kids, and hanging with the professor.  Be a nerd.  Your report card will thank you.  When you don’t understand something taught in class, your professor will take all the time in the world to teach you while he downs a beer and feeds on free pizza.  No, he won’t give you answers to the exams, but a $10 pizza and a $5 beer is cheap tutoring by the expert himself.  (Note:  I always let my buddies buy the beer.  I told them I wouldn’t be any part of that, but I made up for it with the pizza.)

Enough for Now

That’s enough for now.  I have to gather my thoughts for the next phase’s learnings.