When I was a teenager in high school, I was somewhat rebellious when it came time to study or listen to my parents and teachers. I wanted to quit school and join the navy when I was seventeen, but my parents would not sign for me. I stayed in school until I graduated and then joined the United States Navy. I attended twenty-four weeks of school during the four years I spent in the navy.
When I left the navy life I began working as a member of a land survey crew for a civil engineering and land surveying company. After about six months the boss put me in charge of a land survey crew. It was then I discovered I did not have enough math knowledge to perform well on every aspect of land surveying. I was very limited on certain projects. Eventually, I decided to take two correspondence courses to better my knowledge. I obtained a school loan from the Veteran's Administration. During the following three years I spent a few hours after work each weekday and several hours during the weekends studying in a small office I had set-up in the basement of our home. During those three years, I felt bad about not spending more time with my wife and two small daughters, but I felt the extra education would help in the future.
The education certainly helped and after several years of experience and many hours of additional self-study. I became licensed as a professional land surveyor in The State of Iowa. I began looking for a position as Chief Land Surveyor with other companies but found that every company advertising for a Chief Surveyor wanted someone with a college degree as well as a license in Iowa. I remained working for the same company I had always worked for but never became the company's Chief Surveyor.
Perhaps I should have listened to my teachers and parents especially the time my mother suggested that I go to college on a veteran's loan. I wish I could convince all young people to study as hard as possible while attending school. If you need help, ask your teachers, your parents or other people who are willing to help you. Always do your very best, no matter what you do. It is much easier to learn when you are in the classroom. It is very hard to study on your own especially after you are married and have children. Now, I am at an older age and still feel as if I am learning the hard way while writing. The experts say that it is good to keep your mind busy in your old age, and I agree.
After graduating from high school in Grundy Center, Iowa, in 1961, Dallas spent four years in the U.S. Navy, including three years aboard the submarine USS Bang. With an Honorable Discharge in hand, Dallas returned to Iowa and found employment by working at the lowest position on a land survey crew. Dallas married Rita and they eventually became the parents of two daughters. In 1985, after the further education of hard knocks and several thousand hours of home study, Dallas had the privilege of becoming licensed as a Professional Land Surveyor in the State of Iowa. Dallas retired in 1999. Dallas and Rita reside in Waterloo, Iowa. By the fall of 2011, Dallas had written and published 2 books. He is currently contemplating (part-time) another book.