I didn’t have the best childhood growing up. I ran away…,ALOT. So much so that I got sent to a home for runaways. Was one of two times of stability in my childhood. From 10-12 y/o we were “home schooled” by a man named Mr. Tortoricci. He was this small Butterball of an Italian Man, who looked like Mr. Kotter from “Welcome Back Kotter”.
He taught me in those 2 years everything I needed to know to go to High School and have 12th grade study hall classes while I was in the 7th grade and be able to Ace them. I never graduated from High School or took the ACT. I did take the GED and passed in the 99.9 percentile. That’s why the Navy took me even though they weren’t taking non high school graduates, that and a banging ASVAB and raw AFQT score.
But I have 4 Bachelor’s degrees, 2 Masters degrees and was only a few classes away from my phD. Plus my numerous professional certifications. He saw something in me that no one else saw and instilled in me a love of seeking knowledge and reading that I still have today. I was the only kid I ever knew who got in trouble for reading to much. That’s been a life long love.
He used to wear a vest and smoke a pipe (I still think of him when I smell that blend of tobacco and if you did well that day in class, instead of taking stairs, you could take the slide outside of his window instead.