After finishing high school in 3 1/2 years (I missed a semester due to onset of my leg disability) I immediately foraged on to the nearby university. I was one person in 40 thousand!
I lasted one year and one summer session.
This was largely because, for the first time in my life-even though I was still living at home-I had freedom and money. I was working part-time and going to school full-time. A dangerous combination for an immature college boy.
So, I spent much of my Freshman year, as they say, finding myself. You know, partying, drinking, dating (sometimes), avoiding going to class. My personal mascot was from the Peanuts comic: Joe Cool, hanging around the student union. “What classes are you taking, Joe?” “Classes?!”
So, I lasted a year. Then I was on academic probation. It seemed attending college required classroom attendance. Who knew?
I dropped out, and went to work full-time, mostly because my meany parents were requiring rent! (and thank God they did!)
This taught me that a high-school diploma’ed college dropout wasn’t going to get very far in this World. So, I worked toward returning to school, and moving out.
Two years later, I returned to college (at the Junior College level) and had moved out (with artist Dave and his brother-one tale with whom I recounted earlier).
Junior College was a whole new breed of cat.
I had written a letter to the college Justice Studies department, asking specifics regarding coursework.
One (of the two) professors called me personally, and invited me in to discuss things.
There were two main Justice Studies professors. One, a retired Tempe/Scottsdale (AZ.) police officer, political mover and shaker; the other a retired Oakland, CA. police officer, California Highway Patrolman, and Justice-of-the-Peace.
The retired AZ. cop was hysterical, irreverant and pretty knowlegable. The CHP/JP guy was droll, dry, but also very knowledgable. He also had a large mole on his forehead, on which one focused to keep from nodding off.
Both were fairly easy to steer off into cop war stories, if the lecture was too boring.
But, I learned alot.
I graduated with high distinction, mostly because I was motivated, and most of the boring non-major coursework I’d done at the previous school. One was required to have 24 of 64 credit hours in the major to graduate. I had 40, I think
Of course, I still had the problem of finding employment after graduation, in a highly competitive field, with a disability, during a recession (1975).
So, life went on, now degreed.
And, during most of the community college two-year experience I carried a firearm openly. In the presence of many certified police officers. And, there were no mass shootings, no bloodbaths, no cries of “OMG! He’s got a gun!” (The droll guy even had a steel tank in his office, wherein we test-fired my gun and his for penetration comparison, into stacked telephone books!)
I’m certain college students are much safer, now, with guns being restricted, and all.