# How to fail at almost everything and still win big

What happened in high school my freshman year? Algebra 1 happened. That was my first F. The scarlet letter. I’m not an F kinda guy but I was completely blindsided by Algebra. It was so far over my head I needed a telescope. They didn’t have telescopes for math, only Astronomy so I was out of luck. I asked the teacher for help and he said I should just try to follow along and absorb it.

So I sat there drawing pictures of analog clocks on my notebook and then drew circles around the clocks — clockwise circles of course. I was trying to speed up time.

That was pretty much how I spent my time in Algebra 1. In the Summer I was offered the chance to do makeup homework that I didn’t get done during the school year. And that just hung over my head all Summer. That dreadful feeling of incompleteness. Gosh, I still remember that so clearly.

I don’t remember if I did anything (homework-wise) or not. I’m thinking not since I had no idea how to do it.

I wish I knew then how things would turn out. I went straight into Algebra 2 as a sophomore.

What?! There was a new math teacher at the school and he looked at my other grades (As and Bs) and said he knew he *could* teach me Algebra and there was no reason to repeat Algebra 1. I was in a class with good company… practically the entire football team and the class clowns.

I learned Algebra 2 and thankfully stuck with this teacher for all of my math in high school and tested out of math for college. I also earned a lot of money betting on NFL games with my classmates.

So it all worked out. Go figure.

But I wish I knew that Summer that things would work out. I just need to remember that so I don’t miss out on any more seasons of my life.

(The title of my post is also the title of a book I’ve just started reading by Scott Adams, the creator of the Dilbert comic.)