Junior graduated from high school last week and I couldn't be prouder.
It took a lot of hard work to get the amazing grades he pulled down. He made the principal's list every single semester of high school.
I made the principal's list only once, and I still maintain my innocence noting there was not enough evidence to convict me or they would have...um, er, ah anyway, back to Junior.
He made the list in a good way and he deserved it.
Of course his mom and I helped out a lot, well, his mom helped a lot.
Don't get me wrong, I did my part: I turned the TV down so they could concentrate better on that trigon-whatcha-callit stuff.
Math is not my specialty and when you throw a few letters in there, I am more lost than a certain Senator trying to remember where he lives.
I did help where I could, which I must admit was not in very many areas.
I took a quick look at one of his math text books and knew I made the right decision to pursue a career that used words and not numbers.
One of the questions in the book was something like X + Y x K = ? I'll tell you what it equals – a headache and a feeling of intellectual inadequacy.
However, Junior is like his mom and just understands how numbers work so trigonometry (I can spell it, I just can't do it), algebra and other forms of numeric torture were right up his alley.
The only pie I can figure out is apple and lemon meringue (I knew how to spell that too, sort of).
The last few years of school, Junior was grooming his courses to help him become a civil engineer and now all he has to do is four years of university and he is there.
Unless he keeps going with his long-term goal to become an architect, then he is looking at a total of seven years. I don't know how much all that education is going to cost, but I am pretty sure I will have to sell a kidney to help cover the bills.
It was not easy for Junior to get such good grades and many was the evening he would be hunched over a stack of books while his friends were working on a stack of empties. I am sure he would much rather have been with his buddies, but he is focussed and driven and that is something you just can't teach someone.
Some of his buddies are going to northern Alberta to make their fortune aiding in the destruction of the environment, a.k.a. working in the oilsands.
But not Junior, he is an eye-on-the-prize kinda guy and at the age of 18 he already knows that while his friends will be making big money immediately, in a few years he will be an engineer making even more money without having to live in a work camp half the time.
Like I said, he is a smart kid; definitely gets that from his mother.
I had no such foresight when I was in high school. School was such a horrendous experience for me, all I could think about was getting out.
I nearly quit a few times, but toughed it out and graduated with a solid C average. I showed them the meaning of the word mediocre.
It was not exactly a glowing report card, but it was enough to get me out of high school, which is all I wanted to do.
When I finally did get around to a post secondary education, I had a B+ average – who knew.
I can not help but brag a little about how big Junior's brain is and about how focussed he is on his long-term goals.
As a dad, that's part of my job. The other part is to help him pay for university. Anyone want to buy a kidney?
Copywrite 2014 Darren Handschuh