Monday, October 2, 2023

Work Ethic

By Sam Alfonsi, Diamond Beach

To the Editor:

My college search began in the early summer of 1954. Little help came from high school counselors, as they were spending most of their time with the real deals, not with anyone like me with learning problems. 

I knew I lacked any mechanical skills many of my buddies possessed and then enriched at vocational school, leading to good-paying jobs. Any betting man in the neighborhood would have wagered 100-1 that I would be back in the neighborhood come trick-or-treat night that October in 1954.

They say that pride goes before a fall, but it was pride that sustained and nourished me. I knew that I had taken a step in my life and was being observed by neighbors, some of whom weren’t wishing me luck and good fortune. Also, I realized the money my parents shelled out for tuition could have been directed to other matters to make their lives a little better.

I prayed every morning and night to St. Jude. I made many novenas to the Blessed Lady, praying to continue to give me the strength to endure. I once sneaked a look into my teacher’s roll book and saw a 100 next to my name in the IQ column, as average as vanilla ice cream.

There is no test to determine one’s work ethic, which is the stuff usually found behind those who take risks in life. As founder and director of College Bound in 1958, I have made it my personal duty to instill in the many learning disabled students entrusted under my care the importance of one’s work ethic when it comes to surviving college.


Diamond Beach

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