I could whine and complain about my day as an assistant principal but I viewed each challenge as an opportunity to change lives. Sure we had a student punched in the face by another student but that is extraordinary because that is the first “fight” this spring semester which is now about 12 weeks old. Should I say that no students gathered around since they don’t support those activities anymore. In working with the student who went after another, I was given an opportunity to counsel and discuss appropriate responses to anger and how and where I get my strength to respond differently. May I say, I was bold? It is not about the consequence of the wrong choice but the opportunity to make a difference and change behaviors. It was handed to me and I did not shy away from being bold on how my life is different. Oh yeh, I can say I still get angry but I can also say that I can respond differently then punching someone in the face. So was I disappointed? Sure but did I make difference? Who knows, but I can say with certainty that this young man left encouraged and not discouraged which encouraged me.
In my travels in Payson on Sunday, I had a teacher who is not a friend of mine, just unleash comments about how awful it is at my old school due to what this person saw as a complete lack of leadership. I listened, smiled, and was given the opportunity to tell how my life has been changed working with a group of students and how they have responded in ways I never could have imagined.
Today, I actually got real confirmation of the differences I have helped make and came when I was a bit discouraged. Sitting with a 12th grade young man today at lunch, I had just an amazing experience. This student is such a neat young man and very popular and involved in so many things. He asked me, point blank, how long I was sticking around. I had to tell him that this is it for me as I felt that I needed to be home with my family and to be around my own high school senior next year. He really responded to that and thought that was a great thing. He told me how much the school had changed since my arrival. How students openly drank in hallways and how bathrooms were disaster zones with booze and dope everywhere. He said it was awful. But he said, it sure is different now. You guys have changed this place completely. He added that he was thankful that we had come to his school and how we had made a huge difference. His appreciation was heartfelt and as we pounded the fist and gave the man hug, I was on that proverbial Cloud 9. Maybe it is now called iCloud.
My heart was lifted and my soul began to rise. Wow who could be discouraged after that? To celebrate I ran 4.5 miles at a 9 minute mile pace rocking it with some Third Day. It was my best run in a long time. So to my friends, I say be bold, don’t hide your faith, your beliefs, your reason for life, you will never know when that unexpected blessing will reach out and get you when you least expect it but need it the most.