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CLAYTON RYE

By Staff | Jan 1, 2016

We frequently hear, “Do as I say, not as I do.”

I recently had a conversation with my grandson, a high school senior, that amounted to, “Do as I say, not as I did.”

My grandson will be enrolling in college next fall and I was hoping to give him some advice that I have learned since graduating from college.

I went from high school straight to a large state university because I didn’t know what else to do. It was more of an extension of my high school years.

I attended classes, paid attention and took notes, and then took the tests. My grades reflected my less than enthusiastic attitude. I got C’s with an occasional B. I was satisfied.

I discovered agronomy classes were very interesting and since I paid more attention, the B grades became more frequent.

Then I took a class in the agricultural engineering department. I don’t remember the specific subject, but it was something I wanted to do the best I could and decided I was going to work for an A.

I told my grandson I sat in the front of the class, took the best notes I could and did everything I could to comprehend what the instructor wanted us to know.

After the final exam was taken, the instructor posted the points everyone in the class received with the breakdown by letter grade.

I walked to where the grades were posted to see my final grade. I was confident, feeling I had accomplished what I set out to do.

I started at the top of the list, going down until I saw my name.

There it was. I received the highest B in the class. The guy above me got an A; I got a B.

Of course, I was disappointed.

The point of my telling this to my grandson was that in college, there will be a lot of talented, intelligent people sitting in the same class room.

Sometimes, you have to work hard to get a B.

What I have learned since graduating from college is that I didn’t appreciate those college years, almost 50 years ago, enough to apply myself to get more out of those classes. I could have done a better job.

I wanted my grandson to understand that he is setting the course for the rest of his life. As an adult, he is the one who will determine the outcome of his life.

My grandson is a fine young man with a bright future. He will do well in most of his life choices and if a poor choice is made, he will overcome it.

I have made mistakes along the way that I wish I could do over, but looking back over my years and seeing where I am and what I have today, I am more than grateful.

As I grew older, I learned to recognize opportunities and take a risk, working to achieve the best result possible. If I made a mistake, I would tell myself, “I don’t want to do that again.”

Do I have any regrets about my life? Gosh, no. I would go back in my life only if I could know then what I know now.

I heard a song that was popular long ago and there was a line in it that said, “Youth is wasted on the young.”

Isn’t that the truth!

Rye is a Farm News staff writer and farmer from Hanlontown. Reach him by e-mail at crye@wctatel.net.

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