Ignorance Is Bliss, Until It Dates Stupid

I’ve made alot of excuses for alot of things in my life. Excuses for not saving more money, excuses for not fixing things, excuses for not following my passion sooner, and excuses for why I have made excuses.

One day, I came home from a date to find my parents sitting at a small table in our low income apartment with the lights off. As I approached the table and questioned their silence they handed me a letter from my college. Apparently, when you are on academic probation they like to send the announcement home first. Everything snowballed after that.

You see, my family was in financial repair so there were no solutions there. The letter said that I had to report to college by May 16th–the letter arrived May 15th. The letter also said that I had to have no less than a cumulative 3.0 GPA for the next two summer semesters and I had managed to pull off an astounding 1.96 so far.

And this is where I like to end this story because this is where people most frequently stop listening. They already know what comes next. This is the part where I pack my few belongings, march into hell with a water pistol, kick the devil in his front teeth and get the girl. But there is one part of the story–the part that I am about to tell you–that always shuts people down.

College, my degree, and my future were all dreams and passions that my family shared together. Until that day I had never disappointed my family like I did. My father was speechless, my mother was heartbroken and we were poor with little hope. It was perfect. It was the perfect set up for me to decide if I wanted my ignorance to become stupidity.

The day that you face adversity and choose to blame or rationalize away your ownership of the fiasco, is the day that you officially graduate from ignorance and enroll into the school of stupid. That night I laid on the floor and realized that I had been wrong…that my priorities were out of alignment and that I had become a terrible student. I realized that I was working harder but not smarter, and that I needed accountability and help. I knew that I would never accomplish this alone. I would need my family, teachers, administrators, God, my care pastor, friends, study groups–anyone could be a resource to help me win.

There is a difference between quitting and retreating. When you quit, you stop because you recognize what went wrong and what happened to you. When you retreat, you recognize what you could have done better, what you did not do, what you did too much of, and you begin to see how you can attack on another day. Don’t quit–just retreat. And by all means, don’t date stupid…

I’ve Been Busy…

I don’t know if I can event begin to explain what has been happening the last 10 months. I will summarize it:

SCTEA Educator of the Year

GTC Professor of the Year

Nominee for SC Professor of the Year

Recipient of Grant for Innovative Education

…and the list actually goes on and on. People have been trying to figure out how this is happening, but it has to do with passion–and this passion came from pain. This pain came from failure, and the failure came from a lack of passion.

Passion is essential to becoming a successful student. There is absolutely no way that you can succeed in school without having passion, because passion is the vehicle that you use to overcome obstacles during your academic journey.

So what is passion? It’s that thing that keeps you up at night…what you can’t wait to get home and do…what you would do for free…what you would leave your current job to do..what you would do if you had the time and/or the money…what you think about constantly but lie to everyone a say that you aren’t thinking about anything…that thing that you are too embarrassed to share, even with yourself…THAT’S passion.

Passion is the motivator that pushes you to push back, push forward and push on. You need it to succeed, and it needs you like a sword needs a warrior. Passion will help you move forward when the fogs of frustration and uncertainty set it. And Passion helps you to identify what matters the most. If you must take any weapon with you on this journey, make sure that you pack several refills of passion–locked and loaded.