The training that I received from home and in Primary and High School began to pay dividends once I entered the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. In my first week-end of the Academy I was directed to write three research papers when I was by default placed on point as the Cadet Class Leader. I remember one of the research papers was entitled “Why It Is Important to Keep the Gun Hand Free.” Because, as I said, I was the Cadet Class Leader for that first week, I made quite a few miss-steps (seen and unseen) and paid for it in research papers. The research papers were all 5 full College configured paper. Because the Department was still not in the automated era yet we still hand wrote all reports.
As I recall when I got home that Friday evening and told my wife about the circumstances of the week, she was challenged by the situation also, but vowed to support me through it. We had just purchased a word processor computer (antique by today’s standards) but adequate to help us get through that challenging moment. So, I set up a work station in our apartment bedroom and hunkered down for the week-end. I wrote, wrote and rewrote after applying the basics of the outlining process and theme management. It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it. I suppose that enduring that endeavor proved to the staff that I really wanted to win and those research papers where the Segway into my becoming the Academy Honor Cadet. Needless-to-say that in that first week-end of writing, I had thoughts of quitting, but my faith kicked in and reminded me that something worth having is worth fighting for.