I am a person of integrity.  I do what I say I’m going to do.  I tell the truth.  I don’t use truth as a weapon, and if someone needs to have some course corrections, I don’t use bluntness but careful guiding and care for the person to make adjustments in their growth.  What you see is what you get when you meet me.

Grit is the determination to get things done.  You set out a plan, you take the path, you finish what you start.  When things look hopeless, I don’t give up the task, I continue until it is done.  I believe in my learning system and know that if I apply this system, there isn’t anything I cannot learn, regardless of the subject matter.  I know some people that will say, “I hate math, I’m no good at it.”  I look askance and I think to myself, “No, they are not good at math because they don’t want to be.” So I coined the word, Integritty…full of grit

I am also extremely curious.  If something catches my imagination, I will make it a point to learn as much as I can about it.

Why this long introduction?  I was on my way home from rehearsal last night, and reflecting on the accomplishments I had achieved over my life.  (It was a 1 hour drive…)  And it came to me that most of the accomplishments that had given me the most pleasure were shot down by those around me.  When my hubby was in college, he couldn’t walk into a math class.  Why?  Because the other students would boo when he walked in.  He was so good, that he did all his math homework in ink.  He saw problems solved in his head before anyone else had a clue on where to start.  He was the same way in computer programming.  When he did something amazing, he got praise and adoration from his teachers and fellow students.  When I was in college and I did something amazing, I was accused of lying or cheating.  When he got perfect papers in math, he got A’s.  When I got perfect papers in math, I was brought in to the professor’s office and asked point blank if my future husband had done my homework.  When he aced the calculus test, his teachers glowed with pride at the mention of his name.  When I aced the calculus test, they checked me for a copy of the test, or hidden answers written on socks or sleeves.  When I had to take the piano proficiency test, we had to play the Star Spangled Banner and My Country ‘Tis of Thee without music.  I played the required songs with multiple arrangements in several different keys.  I played them as I heard them in my head.  The teachers told everyone that I had memorized 5 different versions of each piece.  Memorized?  There aren’t that many versions, and certainly not in that many keys.

In another instance, I was the 1st person in the history of the college to test out of 2nd semester sight singing and ear training.  They had me listed as “dropped” from the class. Do you want to know what the final test was?  They played a Bach Chorale and gave me a starting note.  I had to transcribe the melody and the bass line for the piece as I heard it, and they allowed me 6 repetitions of the song.  After 2 times, I had both parts written, and as I had 4 more times to go through it, I filled in the rest of the notes.  Then I analyzed the chords.  I hadn’t studied the “Picardy 3rd” in theory class yet, so I identified it as a Major I chord.  They checked my work, then came in and accused me of having memorizing the chorale before the test and writing it from memory.  I assured them that I hadn’t even played this chorale before, let alone memorized it.  I also asked them how difficult it would have been to know in advance which piece of music they were going to ask me to transcribe  and find, learn, and memorize it in the 3 days I had before the test.  They grudgingly allowed me to finish the semester without taking the course.  I didn’t find out until much later that instead of passing me, they had me “excused” from the class.

When I took the Series 7 exam for securities, I was in a class by myself.  Literally.  They handed me 13 binders and I had to complete 22 chapters with chapter tests, and 13 final tests and a green light test without benefit of class or teacher.  I did that.  I passed the series 7 test the 1st time I took it.  Later (about 10 years) I took the Series 26 exam for principals in securities.  I signed up for the test, then studied the material for about 2 weeks.  I figured I might as well take the Series 65 for Managed Accounts that would make me an IAR a couple weeks later.  I was told in no uncertain terms that this was not advisable.  I should study for my 26 for at least a month before taking the test, and I should not study for the 65 until after I had passed the 26.   I nodded and ignored him.  I had already studied for the test and I had to just wait for my test date, so I started studying for the series 65.   I took the 2 hour, 100+ question test for the 26 and passed it on my 1st attempt 7/23/2012.  Then, I took the 4 hour, 100+ question test for the 65 and passed it also on my 1st attempt 8/10/2012.  Both tests were completed in less than 1 1/2 hours each.  I was asked if I had taken a boot camp.  I was asked if I’d ever taken the test before.

My frustration is that as a person of integrity, and a person with “integritty” why the 1st conclusion people come to when I do things is that I am dishonest, that I cheat, that I lie.  The 1st assumption is that I, being the person they perceive me to be, am not capable of doing something that is not within their expectations, and that if I do anything very very well it proves that I have done something outside the rules to accomplish it.  This perception is so prevalent that I don’t dare give anyone an inkling of what I am capable of.  I think I am a good teacher, but I’m probably not.  I think I am a good musician, but I’m probably not.  I think I am very very good at understanding money, but I’m probably not.  What I’d like is to do something really well and have the reaction, “WOW!  That was amazing!  You are so GOOD at this!” instead of, “Wait, you did what?  Naw, you must have cheated, you lie–you have done this for years before you tried it in public.  Who are you trying to kid?  Nobody can do that, so you didn’t.  How’d you pull it off?”  My husband is one of very few that knows I don’t cheat or lie or exaggerate.  I can count on one hand the others that think this.  It is a lonely way to live.


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