The school I went to for high school was very well known for the high amount of GED’s not diplomas. The concept is highly accepted in the community as there are a multitude of reasons for why. One stems from families here don’t always make a lot of money to support their families and need the kids to start working. Another is the high amount of pregnancy’s from unprotected sex. Finally there is just an overwhelming feeling of not caring from Junior onward. I would argue that this was due to the administration for Freshman and Soft-more’s absolutely were enthusiastic and really tried to help everyone succeed with personal meetings every week. Once becoming a Junior it was a stressful design your own schedule as the school was trying to prepare us for college. I as a Junior did fine, but my grades were really starting to tank near the end of the third quarter. I was only getting C’s in classes I normally was getting A’s in such as math. It wasn’t that the content was harder, the problem was that I flat out could careless as there was no longer anyone pushing me to succeed. As Senior year descended upon me I felt from day one after seeing the syllabus that the amount of “busy work” or homework as it is commonly referred to was going to be eating up a massive amount of time! Sadly, this came at a time my best friend Theo was getting massively addicted to a video game called League of Legends and he had hooked me onto it. We would spend 6 hours on most days in the realm of League of Legends. As my grades as a Senior were getting worse and worse as I wasn’t doing the homework and slept a majority of the time in class as I was over playing League of Legends. Fast forward to report card day and all of my classes said I was in danger of failing and each teacher had nasty comments of utter disgust with my presence being in class. I did have to have my mom and dad sign off on the paper and they both looked at me and said “would you like to stop going to high school and just get your GED?” I responded with “only if I fail out of high school I think I can get the grades up if I try harder.” They were both fine with that answer signed it and reminded me GED is an option and that they would totally understand. After I got their signature I went straight back to League of Legends with my best friend Theo.
Guitar Hero 3 thank the heavens it came out as it was my savior I needed. Guitar Hero 3 had been out for a significant amount of time at this point and was very cheap to get it. Mom bought it for less than $30 for my Hanukkah gift on the 8th day. I was super excited and ran straight into my room. I played that game all the way till the end and nothing was going to stop me. My hands ached, but I would persevere earning the rights to play more and more songs and then it came. “Through the Fire and Flames” by Dragonforce. My mind couldn’t handle the intensity of the song the sheer brilliance of the notes. My hands couldn’t keep up the song was just too difficult. I was determined more than I had ever been before to finally accomplish something of meaningful worth. I was to beat this song on Expert difficulty!
Hearing the lyrics over and over losing round after round I was understanding the true problems I had were of my own doing. The lyrics are very much about rising up to the challenge and tackling it on your own or with others through the fire and flames. My current situation in schooling was showing me that I was neglecting to prioritize school over League of Legends. All of my other friends aside from Theo were already deciding to get GED’s so they really didn’t help advise me on any other path than to just keep playing League of Legends with Theo and just get that GED! “Through the Fire and Flames” made me truly realize what it means to pick oneself from the bootstraps and get something done. I had two tasks I wanted to complete as being a Senior get that diploma and beat the song on Expert.
Studying for tests all I wanted to do was listen to music as it helped me focus. So, to be training my mind for tackling the song I kept playing it in the background almost envisioning myself playing it as I studied for my math class. To say the least my grades were shaping up to be A’s and B’s and I was getting proper sleep and being alert and active in class. Theo went on to become a MLG (Major League Gaming) League of Legends player. He got kicked out after his first tournament apparently he did awful and he got a GED. I was the only person of my tight nit circle of friend’s who didn’t get a GED. I got to walk and grab that diploma and shake the hand of the principal of the school and it was a glorious day. I did beat “Through the Fire and Flames” on expert with a 83% score and it was the greatest achievement I have ever done gaming wise. There is a special place in my heart for the song and I could only speak highly of how it saved me from the path of getting a GED and instead getting the diploma. Thank you Guitar Hero 3!
My favorite Guitar Hero version of this song is : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18sbgJ9Nch0
My favorite fan version for this song is : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZrGn9zCcwU