By God’s Grace and grit

Dad finished a full tour of duty, flying bombing missions over Germany.  The war ended before he was sent on a second tour. He never was inclined to talk much about it, and didn’t keep up his pilot’s license after being discharged.

Back in Canada he was entitled to a Veteran’s scholarship.  Even with his new commitment to God he couldn’t see himself up behind a pulpit,  so he decided to become a  doctor.  Apparently there hadn’t been a whole lot of incentive for the son of a poor farmer in the dirty thirties to put a lot of effort into his academic career. The folks at the University took one look at Dad’s high school marks and laughed at his medical ambitions.  However, they also gave him an IQ test. He said, “Never before or afterward, have I scored so high.”  He made it into pre-med on the strength of that test.

There wasn’t much hazing on the University of Saskatchewan campus that year.  The entering class of war vets weren’t about to be pushed about by juniors who had come fresh from High School.

Part of the first year curriculum  was a course in Bio-Chemistry.  It was specifically designed to thin out the class.  Dad said that there were four large blackboards.  The Professor would come in, start writing on one board, cover them all with notes, wipe them clean and start over.  By the time Christmas vacation rolled around Dad was foundering deeply in the course- he said he didn’t have a clue.  However, the Prof. handed out  a ten to twelve page course summary, just before he dismissed the class for their break.  Dad started memorizing it by rote, starting with page one and working through.  By the time he had memorized half the sheets the material started to make sense, and when he wrote the final in January he had the second highest score on the exam.


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