I had just finished up my Junior year at high school. At this point in my life, I was acutely focused on getting out of he house and enjoying everything that college had to offer. At this point, I was focused on three colleges: Purdue, Syracuse (great Computer Science program and awesome basketball team), and a small school in Indiana – Rose Hulman.
Different than today, I found out about the PSAT a few days before, and I walked into the SAT with no preparation. Combine no preparation and a sporadic desire to read, and my scores were good not great. Luckily, I had really high grades in high school so that helped offset test scores combined with my wonderful personality that was exuded via essays J.
I believe that summer I worked in my Dad’s factory on an oil seal manufacturing line. Let’s just say seeing folks with missing digits on their fingers or severe burn injuries from not paying attention really caught my attention during training. It was a VERY, VERY boring job, but could be very dangerous if you didn’t pay attention. I credit the job for three things: 1) driving me to go to college to use more of my brain in what I did for a living, 2) funding part of my freshman year in college since this job paid very well, and 3) increasing my focus on paying attention to the detail.
I played a LOT of basketball and volleyball with my siblings and neighbors, but what I really liked to do was grab a fishing pool and head down to the pond close to our house, and fish for hours. Not I said fish, not “catch.” I remember there were times when I spend 60-120 minutes, and I could see the fish in the water, but they wouldn’t bite. And yes, it wasn’t with headphones plugged into my ears enjoying Michael Jackson or Prince. It was time alone thinking about what was going on in my life and what I could do better, and of course how I could catch fish!
Sharing one car across three siblings (my sisters – Susan and Sharon) made for quite the challenges relative to mobility and enjoying time with friends. Most of my time during the school year, I was focused on a sport after school, dinner with the family, likely attending someone’s “game” and of course a little studying. Candidly, I studied a “fraction” of what Grant studies today, but going to a rural small Indiana high school I think the expectations were a lot lower and the number of really smart kids a lot fewer.
What I do remember was going to church every Sunday, and attending mass then attending Sunday school were I got to spend time with kids from three other high schools in the area, and then in the afternoons in the summer it was Church softball. We called it the Oesterling / Kaufmann dominated team, because each family had 5 players and I remember other teams being shocked that we were so competitive playing so many kids!
Of course the summer wasn’t complete without a vacation trip to an Indiana state park for a week where we at the fish we caught for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Yes, Oesterling kids our version of “chicken” at home!
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