Nothing Comes Easy That’s Worth Having

By: Charles A. Jackson Bey

A time that I succeeded but I thought I had failed was when I took my GED while incarcerated at a level 4 facility. In the past my first time taking the series of testing I was a young man enrolled in job core, and I had taken the GED a total of three times!

Each time was a dissatisfaction only because I had failed math every single time! As I passed other parts I had failed previously. Knowing the third time had to be a charm! I took it with complete confidence just to find out two weeks later I wouldn’t be getting my GED that year.

Now I gave up on obtaining my GED while in job core because I had to wait until the New Year started before I could test again! Which I thought was so dumb! But apparently you only can take the test three times a year and it was only July or August at that time. So I went through life brushing it off until I was left with no choice! And that was in level 4 St. Louis correctional facility.

I was told that if I didn’t have a GED I couldn’t work a prison job! So I demanded to be placed in school so I could take the test in order to provide for myself. I was sent GED practice books until I was able to be enrolled in class, which I studied to the best of my ability.

Now the last time I had seen a math book or any type of school book was 8 years prior to my incarceration! So I was beyond confused. When I finally was placed in class I was told my previous testing scores were not on file so I had to take the whole GED again! Which I raised hell about!

As I took these tests over again I ran into the same problem from my past! Passing part of the test and failing the math. The teacher wouldn’t let me retest right away so I had to study and be tutored which worked in my favor because my old test scores eventually got tracked down, which the parts I took over again boosted my GED original test score!

So that left me with just the math to worry about! I still had two attempts until my teacher broke the news: if we don’t get our GED for that year all of our scores would be erased because the GED is being changed to computer software. I couldn’t believe my ears! And knew that if I didn’t pass the math I would have to retest on everything that next year.

Results are in and I’m nervous like, it’s my third and final attempt! And I just know I got to go retake the math one more time because I didn’t feel like I did a good enough job. As he said my name in the class then calling out my GED score “you’ve passed Mr. Jackson, congratulations!” I thought he was joking around! As he seriously said “No, you actually passed! Your school days are over! You can go back to your unit and I’ll send you your GED certificate in the mail.”

I use that moment in my life today to help me with present situations and for future by remembering that nothing comes easy in life that’s worth having. That it will take several attempts to obtain the victory I’m truly looking for which is freedom and to become reunited with friends and family again. I used to think that if I didn’t obtain the results I was looking for in three attempts that I would just brush it off and move on with life. That’s not how success works! Because in order to know what victory feels like we have to understand what it means to fail before reaching that victory. And even then, it’s not a failure because it was a lesson for us to strive for the victory and refuse to be defeated! No matter how many times it took to reach that goal. I use this as an example of the success I know I have even though I appear to be in a failing situation.

Feel free to contact me by JPay or writing to:
Thumbs corr. facility
3225 John Conley Dr.
Lapeer, MI 48446