As 1989 began, George H.W. Bush took the presidency as the Reagans rode off into the sunset. Prior to the inauguration, U.S. Navy F-14s shot down Libyan fighters over the Gulf of Sidra. On the ninth of November, Germans began to “Tear down this wall” and began dismantling the Berlin Wall, which had long symbolized the Cold War. Operation JUST CAUSE would oust Noriega from Panama late in the year.
While these awesome historical changes were taking place, I found myself hitting many of my own personal limits. I hit the limits of my self-discipline, my academic work ethic, and my intelligence; if not my ambition. I had been clever enough to do well in high school and in my first semester in college. However, my intelligence tended to feed a sense of academic complacency. I had tendered a habit of assuming I’d accumulate all of the knowledge I needed to pass tests during the courses of the academic lectures. In other words, I grew up getting by without having to do homework. Up until 1989, anyway.
Reality gave me a very significant check, and dismal grades sent me back to the career-planning drawing board. I very nearly gave up on becoming a military officer.