USN Nuclear Program

First I must apologize for the lateness. I was sidetracked today.

But No Cigar

Tell us about a time things came this close to working out… but didn’t. What happened next? Would you like the chance to try again, or are you happy with how things eventually worked out?

I was so close.  I was one point under what I needed and I knew I blew the test when I took it.  Short on sleep, sick, hell… make that exhausted and  confused.  Welcome to Bootcamp.

Would I do it again if I was 18?  No.  It’s too late for a second chance now at my age.  I couldn’t enlist even though I have dreams of enlisting at night.  I also have dreams of being back in the Navy and Bootcamp.   It beats the Nightmares about work I use to have.

I would hold out for Journalism school.  I hated DP ‘A’ school.  Loved San Diego.

Things change.  I am not who I was at 20.  Now, I wouldn’t even go in the Navy, but I would go into the Marines.  Why? Because they understand certain ethics I believe in.  And they are what I wanted to be.  It was damn hard to be that in the Navy.  I could be a corpsman now, but at 20, that was the last thing I wanted to be.  It turns out I was good at Medical.  I was good at psych.

I knew at 20, I wanted to be in the military.  Hell, I wanted to be in it when I was 5.  I wanted to be a writer.  I wanted to be a farmer.  I wanted a lot of things.   The only near brush was with Nuke School but it wasn’t something I wanted to be.  I just thought I wanted it.  The glamour.  Not any more.  [Well, and their food was much better than ours.]

What I didn’t realize at the time?  With my Dyscalculia, the score I received in that test was amazing.

I think the “If you could do over” questions are silly.  Sure, there are things we would change or should change in our lives if we could but we can’t.  It’s that old moving finger and you can’t take back a word or an action.   Questions are for ruminating over past deeds or ills.   Or as the kid says, If my aunt had a dick she would be my uncle.  It never happens.  If onlys never happen.  Looking back is useful if you prevent yourself from doing the same thing in the present or a pity party and getting drunk.  Drunks love looking back and saying if only…

Me doing Nuclear School would never happen and it’s a damn good thing it didn’t considering my ability with numbers.  What I can do is called coping.  I do an amazing job at it.  But when something tires me out or strains me beyond my coping, my ability goes to crap fast.   When I pass my coping skills and grow tired,  it shows up in my writing and other areas.

Anything with arithmetic [numbers] that goes beyond 5*5 is 25 [and that includes 9*4] needs a calculator.   Okay, I lied 9 times table has a trick to it.  Write it down and look before you read on.   Do you see it?   Every answer equals 9 if you add them together until you hit 9*11.


The first number is always 1 less than the number you times 9 by and the second number is always the number if you added it to the first, you get 9.

Real simple trick. Did you see that pattern? That’s what I am good at in Math. I see patterns. I can’t do the number cranking due to the Dyscalculia but I can see the patterns. I’m good at Algebra and higher Math theories. I see the patterns. I just can’t tell you what 6*4 is, unless I have a calculator.

No, it isn’t a memory problem. I can recite Kipling’s 1000th Man or passages of Shakespeare by heart. My brain just jumbles numbers. My half sister has it, but not as bad as I do, so we inherited it from Mom. The kid doesn’t have it at all. She works in Budget.

Bell Curve book coverDo over wouldn’t work unless you rewired my brain. And I’m happy with my brain since if you read the Bell Curve you would have discovered some interesting little facts. Like the higher incidence of Learning Disabilities as the IQ scale rises. I’ve wondered if the wiring that causes the disability also causes the Intelligence level to rise.   Is my seeing patterns is part of the wiring?

It also changes you.  I took a long time to understand I was smart.  “Smarter than the average bear.”  I would get frustrated with most people because they didn’t see things as I did and I thought they should.  After all, we were both normal.  But I’m not.    I am different.  I see things differently than you do.  Bevis and Butthead are painfully boring to me but in return, I get the jokes in Shakespeare [especially when they use OP].  I process knowledge quicker and have an insatiable curiosity that most don’t.  It is a wonderful liberating feeling to know when I am having problems in an area, it is my Dyscalculia kicking in and I need to approach learning in a different way.

It took  38 years to realize I was that bear and it is now wonderful, liberating and okay.  I don’t have to be like the other bears at the picnic grounds.  I know the scars I have and what caused them.  I also know what can be changed and what can’t be changed and today?  I don’t play the If only.  Unless I am moaning about not winning the lottery but hey I want a 400,000,000 jackpot all to myself so I guess it might take awhile.  And I have to remember to buy a ticket…

We are what we are.  It’s what we do with it that counts.

No reruns thank you.