An old High School friend, Craig, sent the following story of an event in his life that he realizes now was truly a “changing moment”. Thank you Craig for sharing.
Following my freshman year in High School, my parents moved to Cumberland, IA which meant I’d have to change schools. During the first few weeks of classes at C&M High School, one of the teachers asked me to come to her room during one of my study halls. As it turns out she was the Contest Speech Coach and she wanted to talk with me about joining the team (apparently my gift of gab was quite evident :-)). We talked for 15 minutes or so about Contest Speech and then she directed the conversation to my transition into this new school. She was extraordinarily well connected and I’m pretty sure she had learned of my prior reputation for all manner of disrespectful and illegal behavior at my prior schools. She proceeded to tell me exactly what I would need to do in order to be successful at this new school and even listed several kids by name whom I should avoid getting involved with.
Never before had an adult taken such personal interest in my well-being. This act of personal care literally changed my life. I joined the speech team, made new friends, had some success and raised my grades considerably. And I even managed to stay out of trouble — mostly :-). Looking back at the course of life chosen by my prior friends and the path taken by the kids this teacher named — I am extraordinarily grateful for her boldness to set my feet on an entirely different and better road! In my senior English class, which this same teacher taught, we read Robert Frost’s, “The Road Not Taken.” To this day I cannot read that poem without overwhelming gratitude for her willingness to choose a road less traveled that resulted in me choosing one too.