Day 265- Justin*

His name isn't really Justin, but he reminds me of the character Justin from "Ugly Betty," so we'll go with that.  Justin (in real life and on that t.v. show) is spunky and sweet and sassy.  He's not like a lot of other boys his age... but, in some ways, that's part of why he's so awesome.

Because he's different, I worry that he may experience some tough times, especially in the sports loving, wise cracking, girl chasing herd of his peers.  It seems as if he is mostly friends with girls, and it seems as if this works just fine for him.  He comes to class beaming every day, so that's a good sign.  I hope I'm right.

A week or two ago, I filled out Justin's recommendation form to try out for the school play.  I did this without hesitation because I adore this kid.  He is always the first to volunteer answers in class and to start discussions.  He always makes eye contact and responds to my "Good mornings" with enthusiasm, which is no small thing for a student his age.  He turns in oustanding work-- not because he is the most intelligent student in his class (although he is bright), but because he really tries hard and puts time and thought into everything he does.  He is not afraid to voice his questions and to clarify when he doesn't understand.  He is always kind to his peers, and I've already caught him doing the right thing when he thought no one was looking.  He is a dream student and an all-around oustanding kid.

Play tryouts were yesterday after school.  He waited around after his class to ask me for my advice.  I told him that I don't know the first thing about acting but that if he stopped by my Ac Lab at the end of the day, I'd give him a pep talk... that I can do!  Sure enough, he came in, and I gave him my best.  On his way out of the room, we all applauded for him.  He was ecstatic to tell me today that his name was on the callback list for tomorrow, and I couldn't be more thrilled for him.

If you think about it, say a little prayer for Justin tomorrow.  I would love to see this kid get his opportunity to bloom and to shine.  This would mean everyhting to him at this point in his life.  I am also reminded, however, of an essay I read recently about failure.  In the essay, a grandma was hoping for some failure for her grandchild.  This is not because she was awful or rude or cranky.  Rather, she truly believed that it is through failure that we learn some of the most important lessons in life.  If everything always goes right, how do we learn what we're made of and what we can overcome?  I'm not sure that this is the best age to experience those kinds of setbacks, what with the fragile teen ego and all.  All I can hope is that no matter what happens, Justin will come out of this all with his bright smile intact.

Either way, I'll be waiting on the other side with my pom poms :).

Thank you, Justin, you made my day.


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