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Keith Rinker"I had a neighbor who had the nicest house in the neighborhood," Rinker says. "He was a kind man. One day, I asked him what he did. He worked for an implement company as a welder. I made up my mind right then to become a welder. If he could do it, I could do it."

Keith Rinker is a certified nuclear welder who has retired from Westinghouse, is a GED graduate, an ordained Church of God minister, a father of seven, a grandfather of 12, and a great grandfather of two. He lives with his wife, Ruby, in Florida.

Name: Janis Raymer
Address: Nashville, TN
Question: Dear Mr. Rinker,
I know that the military kept you busy but also gave you time to do your school work. I have many road blocks in my life, and every time I work through them another pops up in my way. I am very determined to get my GED as were you. How did you handle your road blocks? (My road blocks are people that are in my life and when I kick them out they don't know when or how long to stay gone.) No matter what I say to them, they have an excuse to get me away form my goal.

Just this last time it was my niece (who was born three years ago with growing development problems and left brain not functioning.) Her mother knew I had a child at 19 that had many medical issues that resulted in her death, so she uses me to always go with her to the doctor on a weekly basis and to all therapy appointments because she can't understand all the words that the therapists, doctors, teachers, and counselors use.

Can you give me some advice on how to deal with distractions? My goal is to own my own magazine business, so I have to get this GED before the end of the year to start business college.

Thank you,
Janis (Jan) Raymer

Answer: Dear Janis,
You are correct! The military did keep me very busy, but going to school was something I had to find time for myself. Most of it was night classes, and I made this a priority above other things. I was aware that this process would be some 8 weeks of two hours study a night. I made up my mind to stick with it. Yes, I had a lot of road blocks along the way. It would be very helpful if you first talked to your family about how important your education is. Then ask your family and friends to take over some of the responsibility for those road blocks while you put your efforts in going to school and completing your GED. Find out where you will be taking classes and testing and set this time aside. Don't procrastinate! Start now!

Keith

Name: Mary Watkins
Address: Toledo, OH
Question: I have been out of school for almost 14 years. My memory is not that great and trying to remember back is not possible. After being out school for that long how do you get your mental capability back to where it was?
Answer: Hi Mary,

Your question, "How do you get your mental capacity back?" Sad to say that the older we get the less we retain in our memory, but not all is lost. You just need to seek out some adult classes that can help refresh your memory. The reason we are so quick to forget is that we don't use what we were taught. It will come back quicker than you think. Good luck and God bless. Start now!

Keith

Name: Carol Bozek
Address: Coconut Creek, FL
Question: Dear Keith,

I have a grandson that did not finish school and I would like to encourage him to do so. Can you give me some idea how to reach out to him and let him know how important it is to get his GED.

Thank you for your help.

Carol
Answer: Hello Carol,

I, too, have a grandson who did not finish high school. So far, we have been unsuccessful in persuading him to get his GED. He is a smart young man and would have no problem passing this test. Everyone must be motivated by something to further their education. You might try printing off my story for him to read. Tell him I said, "Without my GED, I would not be here in FL, retired in a fine home with no financial need. But, instead, I would be living in poverty somewhere without God or hope for the future."

Keith

Name: Bobbie Tarr
Address: Eaton, IN
Question: Hello, I have a terrible time with math! It is very much so my weakest subject & as a matter of fact I hate to tell anyone because it is so weak! Every other subject I do just fine in, however when it comes to math I draw a great big blank! Is there anything at all that I can do? I am thinking maybe one on one & someone with a ton of patience!!!! Anything would help.
Answer: Hi Bobbie,

It is good to hear from someone so close to my hometown. My wife and I lived in Muncie, Indiana, for 30 years before retiring to Florida. I have read your email and it sounds like math is the only subject you are having problems with. It is always helpful to know to what level you need to reach in any subject to pass your GED test. Sample tests are available on line. You might be surprised at how much you already know. Find out what is required. Then seek help to come up to the level you need to pass your GED test. I hope this is helpful.

Keith

Name: Ruth Murrell
Address: Anderson, IN
Question: How important is it that people (young and old) are able to write well?
Answer: Hello Ruth,

Your question, "write well, leads to more questions about the meaning of "write."" If it is penmanship you are talking about, the young and old should strive to write legibly. On the other hand, if you are talking about writing accurately with proper English, wording and spelling, as in writing a book, then a lot of us would fall short of "writing well." This is a weak area for me and I most often seek out the help of someone else.

Keith

Name: Felicia Brunetti
Address: Bell Harbor, New York
Question:

I came from Italy in 1969. I was 12 years old. I know I was made fun of. I never went back, had to go to work. Now I want to learn how to write English. Can you help me find the program for me?
Thank you.

Felicia

Answer: Hello Felicia,

I am sure that in your hometown you will find some adult education classes that can put you into a program that will teach you how to write English. Ask someone to help you in this process and walk you through the steps.

Keith

Name: Patsy
Address: Covington, GA
Question: I've been wanting to get my GED, but I have a hard time getting to it.
Answer: Hi Patsy,

Patsy, you are definitely thinking in the right direction about getting your GED. You have confessed you are having a hard time getting to it. Let me share with you that 95% of doing anything is getting to it... or starting. Start right away by finding out where you would most likely take your test. Search the sample tests which are available on line so you can see where you might need help. Inquire about the Adult Education classes available in your area that will bring you up to the level you need to pass your test. Don't wait! Start now!

Keith

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