The Spring 2012 semester has ended, and my results were smack on par with what I suspected going into finals week.
I wound up with a B in both Introductory Chemistry and its companion lab. That was the sole disappointment in what had otherwise been a wildly successful return to college studies after more than 20 years.
Someone reading this post might think, “How can you be disappointed to get a B in Chemistry?” It isn’t the final course grade that was a downer as much as the knowledge that I went into the final exam still with a shot at an A in the course. I needed an A on the final to achieve that, and I fell short by a good 10 points. That, and the limited preparation time I had because of work commitments, was the disappointing factor.
Still, it’s funny how an unexpected and pleasant surprise less than 24 hours later can lift your spirits. In my case, the surprise came in the form of an e-mail from the University of Texas at Tyler’s Financial Aid Office. I had earned a scholarship for next year, which turned out to be a Sam R. Greer Presidential Scholarship for $2,500.
That will put a nice-sized dent in my registration and class fees for my final year of undergraduate studies, but I’ll confess that is not the aspect of the award that really puts a smile on my face. No, the thing that puts a little smugness in my step is the notion that this type of scholarship is what you expect to be awarded to an 18-year-old just graduating high school – not a guy who has a son older than that.
I have a handful of detractors around who think I’m little more than a washed-up, insignificant newspaper hack, some old man who thinks he’s still hotter than habaneros.
Well, this “washed-up old man” just ended nine months with his name on a four-year university’s presidential honor roll (4.0 for at least 12 hours), a 3.69 for a murderously difficult 13 hours this semester, a 3.84 GPA for the year, straight As in a foreign language, an A in a higher mathematics course, wrote, produced and hosted a 10-minute TV show that scored another A, and was top student in a literary analysis writing course where 90 percent of my classmates were half my age or younger, earned a major scholarship for next year, and is now a member of two national collegiate honor societies….all while holding down a 40-hour-per-week reporting job and commuting nearly an hour just to get to classes.
Dear critics and haters of Terry L. Britt: What have you done lately?