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Back to school

August 28, 2012 - John Mehno
Good news -- the blog has returned from an extended summer vacation.

The kids in my neighborhood went back to school on Monday. This was always one of the most traumatic days on the calendar for me. School and I had an uneasy relationship. I was engaged thoroughly with subject matter that appealed to me. But the stuff I didn't like -- advanced math, for example -- was torture. I dissected a frog in biology, but so far that's not a skill that has carried over to any practical use. I went to one school for grades 1-9 (pre-consolidation and pre-days when every kid had to go to pre-school and kindergarten first). No warm-up, no orientation sessions. Five years old, I was on the bus one morning and none too happy about it.

I had some great teachers along the way, including Mrs. King, who is responsible for my chosen career path. One day in ninth grade we had to write themes and she praised mine saying I had a "real flair for this sort of thing." When you're 14 and wondering how you fit in the world, an encouraging word like that goes a long way. Next thing I knew, I was in the business to which I remain tethered. I have banked literally hundreds of dollars. Thank you, Mrs. King.

I lasted two years in college before the university and I made a mutual decision that things were not working out. I was able to latch on with Steel City Sports, a weekly paper. For the first time in 14 years, September rolled around and I didn't have a schedule of classes. I was positively giddy. The freedom was exhilarating. I was going to Pirates games, writing bad features at $10 a pop, hanging out in the press box watching actual pros, and having the time of my life. The lunch was even free then. All these years later, going to work still doesn't seem like a chore.

So good luck in the new school year...especially if you're carving up a frog.

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