Celebrating 16th Place

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At the annual Spelling Bee in one of the schools I saw a very interesting reaction. In the 8th round, a student, who just happened to be my son, misspelled a word, was out of the competition, but celebrated as if he had won. He is a hilarious kid already, but this response took me by surprise. When it was all said and done and the winner was established, I asked my son why he was so giddy about coming in 16th place. He looked at me with eyes of devilish innocence and simply said, “Progress!”

Throughout all my years of teaching I always celebrated progress, growth…the little moments with that understanding that every student’s pinnacle may not be the same. However, when you take the time to make a big deal out of the little moments, students were encouraged to either keep climbing or challenge themselves on the next mountain. I’m ecstatic to know that my son has picked up on this and has learned to celebrate even 16th place…he didn’t even make the final 40 last year. Progress!

He just entered the Geography Bee…can’t wait to celebrate with him.

 

You’ll Never Know

Screen Shot 2014-10-25 at 12.49.11 AMMy first attempt to get back to blogging consistently. Inspired by my new friend Refranz Davis

Life is important only as it impacts the lives of others. Therefore the unveiling of my soul is my only reason for existence.

I wrote this quote my last year of undergrad while contemplating my future as a teacher. This is how I live and today I had the opportunity to put it into action while completing a job at a few of the High Schools in the district.

We were there just to complete a technology survey for a future equipment refresh. I finished my assignment early and was just hanging around the office. There were some students, serving as Office Assistants who were not doing much, so I began to ask them questions regarding their future plans. One of the young ladies told me that she wanted to go to college and study psychology. (Can someone say platform?) I began to tell her my story of how I started as a Psych major, but struggled in 101. Yes, I said 101. It was a pass or fail class and I failed the final exam. Somehow I just froze. I went to the Professor afterwards and began to rattle off answers to the exam that I could not seem to come up with during the test and I begged for a retake. I knew the information, heck, I was born to be a psychologist. I knew this stuff better than I knew myself. Well, he let me retake the test in his office…. I failed again. I had to retake the class. 2nd term…failed again.

Now, I was granted a scholarship for academics and a partial scholarship to run track. but at this moment I was about to lose it all. I’m not ashamed to say, but I cried like Colin Farrell did in Phone Booth when he is humiliated after admitting his faults to the entire world.  This was a mess, but somehow I was walking during the entire episode. All of a sudden I heard a voice and it so quietly said, “I didn’t create you to be a psychologist, but gave you the gift to connect and build relationships in order for you to teach and change lives” I opened my eyes and I was somehow standing in front of the Education Building. I went in, grabbed some information, talked to my advisor and changed my major. I taught for 15 years before I stopped to do what I am currently doing.

The young lady was looking at me with tears in her eyes and explains that she was just praying about what to do about declaring a major. She knew she loved to help others, but wasn’t sure if she wanted to go into psychology or education. She then says my story was a confirmation.

Now, I wasn’t there for this. I didn’t intend to connect on that level. I just wanted to unveil my soul by giving her some relevancy to what she may encounter. However, here is the kicker. I asked her where she wanted to go to college. She tells me her cousin attends the University of Missouri for journalism and wants her to go also.

Guess where I went to school?

Sometimes, we are in the place we are in for one reason, but if we are open enough to be used, we just may end up fulfilling  another purpose altogether.

You just never know sometimes.