If by chance, you’re a first time visitor to the blog, Welcome, and do pop back and read Parts I and II for context.
The simple fact is like most not-quite-eighteen year olds, I did not recognize how much my ten months in France would change me, nor did it happen all at once. I mentioned previously I had to take an American History course by correspondence for my final credit to graduate from high school. In those days before computers and internet, “snail mail” was it. What none of us knew was the predilection for strikes in France (well, a number of European countries). That included the postal service and due to frequent delays in overseas mail, I was actually only able to complete half a credit instead of the full one. There was discussion about how we were going to handle this.
Now, “follow the bouncing ball” as they say. The town where I lived was predominantly agricultural around, but was a “college town” with Northwestern State of Louisiana. It was hardly a major university, but because the primary public schools in town actually sat on campus grounds, there was a strong student teaching program. Additionally, for high school students, in junior and senior years, one could take selected freshman courses and receive credit without an actual grade. There was also the standard option to “test out” of certain classes. Once again, I don’t know how many conversations took place, but in the end, the decision for me to enter my freshman year without having graduated from high school was an interesting arrangement. I had, after all, been in attendance at an accredited university. I was given full credit for those courses and I tested out of two other freshman classes – one of which was American History. I therefore began college with almost enough hours to be a sophomore. At some point very late in that year, I received a certificate of completion (I think it was called) for high school. I suppose in the strictest definition, I skipped my senior year of high school, but I’ve never been entirely sure of the correct administrative category. In any case, I graduated from college not long before my 21st birthday.