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I'm basically a total fucking loser. I was one of the top three students of my graduating high school class, along with my Korean best friend who was number two and some guy who was number one.

I had a raftload of impressive academic credentials for a high school student from the "backwater" state of Georgia, including State Alternate for the Governor's Honors program, a residential summer enrichment program for gifted students. That means in tenth grade, only two other people in the state of Georgia outperformed me (likely both were older than me) for applying to the program in a specific subject area and had one of them failed to be able to participate, I would have taken their place.

I achieved that placement after somewhat flippantly choosing some subject or other (maybe journalism) as my area of interest because unlike most of the other gifted kids in my school, I didn't have some stand-out area of strength. I was someone doing well overall and it was essentially my call as to what to pursue (except music, which I had no background in).

I won a National Merit Scholarship to UGA, one of the top colleges in my home state and the oldest public university in the US which has a raftload of hoity toity rankings and what not for the work it does. I was offered the opportunity to apply for a Fellowship to basically get a free ride and I filled it out but missed the deadline, likely due to my then undiagnosed genetic disorder.

Ultimately, I didn't go to UGA. I chose instead to go to the local college known at that time as Columbus College -- aka "Algonquin High" by snooty locals (including my older sister who was also STAR Student and did it first with better grades and higher SAT scores and who DID accept her National Merit Scholarship to UGA), so named because its adress was on Algonquin Road at that time. This was before they decided to upgrade the college to Columbus State University and the road it's on from a two-lane country road to a five-lane main thorough-fare named University Avenue.

My first year in college, I didn't declare a major and took whatever interested me, mostly language (French, Classical Greek, Intro to Linguistics) and history and a few basic prerequisites (English 101 and 102). I had originally intended to become a simultaneous translator and there was a school for that in Atlanta, but you first had to be fluent in two languages. Also, my dream college was a little known but prestigious college that teaches a Great Books curriculum and I couldn't get into it without having more foreign language.

But, REALLY, as I said in my opening line, I'm a total fucking loser who was in school because I knew how to do this school thing, my fool parents were willing to support me if I went to school and GETTING A JOB was like INTIMIDATING. So I just rested on my laurels as a Good Student (TM), having mastered that long ago with being placed in various advanced and gifted courses since early elementary school. Go, me.

The second year, they insisted I declare a major. Darn.

I declared my major as History so I wouldn't have to change advisors and so I could keep taking interesting history classes. I'm handicapped, so change is hard for me. That was always true, even when they were calling me lazy, neurotic and a hypochondriac instead of seriously handicapped.

That year, I won some award that I forget the name of for being one of like the top three students at the college majored in history. I wasn't shooting for an award, I just thought making As was my job (or the occasional B -- damn, I SUCK) and that's just what you do in school.

I dropped out of school and spent some years as a full-time wife and mom. When I returned to school to get an AA -- so I could preserve my old credits and not have to START OVER if I ever wanted to get a Bachelor's (because you can't transfer classes that are over twenty years old -- UNLESS they are part of a DEGREE) -- I got an AA in Humanities (cum laude -- note: too lame to graduate magna cum laude) as the easy answer.

The ex was also a history major for his degree. We had LOTS of history books in the house and used to pull them off the shelf and look up the ACTUAL details of historic events (such as specific battles) touched on in movies and compare the historic event to the movie depiction.

Humorously, when I originally applied to UGA, I applied as a Geology major. This is funny because I later pursued a Bachelor of Science (never completed) in Environmental Resource Management and my recollection is that environmental studies degrees were first born of geology departments.

So it seems likely that had I actually gotten a degree at UGA, my "career path" of studying the environment as a foundation for a hoped-for Master's in Urban Planning would have been more or less "the same".

Minus, you know, the lengthy detour as a wife and mom -- which likely saved my life so I probably had no hope of a career without that detour because I would have died. Oops.

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