Clues to who we will become are often found in college. Like most, I found the University of Michigan to be an exhilarating place.
With all that freedom, I didn't do much work that first Fall Semester. At the end of the indoor track season I found myself on academic probation. Having just over a 1 point grade point average with the threat of not only being kicked off the team but also asked to leave the University was an eye opening experience.
The great thing about being an athlete at Michigan was the support that was provided. I was assigned a tutor whose main task was to keep me organized. Not only that, but my close friends on the team were good students and encouraged me to improve my academics.
I was also tested again and the diagnoses of Dyslexia was reconfirmed. With this diagnoses I was able to detour around any language classes. Somehow, I was also able to avoid any type of class that involved mathematics as well. With the social support of the university staff and my friends and my artful dodging of anything having to do with numbers my grades slowly improved.
After that first year I also discovered that I could hide behind books at the college level. However, hiding behind books in college is actually called studying. In the ensuing years I managed to take a whole bunch of literary classes that only required a lot of reading and writing. I also took creative writing classes in which I consistently received high Bs and the occasional A. Professor Carolyn Balducci, who taught creative writing in the Humanities, was a huge supporter of my early writing and encouraged me to develop my skills as a writer.
End Part III