It was haircut day for me. The last one was in June so it was time. For fifteen years, the same lady has cut my hair. She is from Vietnam and I always bring her back a picture from my trip. She had a million questions this morning, mainly about whether or not I got married. She even asked if I was offered money to marry someone's daughter- maybe I missed something! This is from May 11, 2006.
It was haircut day. Forty-seven sunrises and sunsets have passed since the last clipping so it was time. I normally go on Saturdays but we were on a special schedule today, allowing me to finish up quicker than usual at the closing bell. My Vietnamese hairstylist lady was waiting for me. I would not trade one of her three dollar haircuts for a free $75 styling at one of those real expensive places- she cuts it the way I like it. It never looks good when I leave- she puts this gunk in my hair so I wear a baseball hat until I take a shower. Then, it's perfect, or as perfect as you can get for three dollars. (Today, I took a short nap when I got home and when I woke up after sleeping on it, my hair closely resembled Lyle Lovett's.) She is a talker considering her English is not very good and my Vietnamese is nowhere to be found. She always asks me four or five stock questions, usually beginning with my parents and our next school vacation. Today, she also inquired about my love life. Then, she said something that stuck with me. It took several sentences for me to grasp her whole meaning but she told me one of my students could one day be President Of The United States! The more she thought about it, the more excited she became. I guess by her association of cutting my hair, she would become important as well. Like many immigrants, she values an education and the opportunities it affords, with the possibility of carrying a child all the way to the White House!
You know, she's right. I tend to look in the here-and-now instead of the future. My most recent memory of a young person tends to be the one with which I evaluate their destiny. Good day- tremendous future! Bad day- sorry! The ability to predict greatness is not equally manifested in all adults. The writing off of kids happens early in academic careers but fortunately, many of those who are written off disagree with the prognosis. I chewed one of my classes out today and they needed it. Collectively, they underperformed, although not all of them and maybe only a minority failed to meet my expectations. But, I can never let one day or incident derail my opinions. I hope the Lord bases his appraisal of me on more than just my worst days, and scripture tells us he does. The body of work is more than just one toe or earlobe. The Vietnamese lady, in a sense, sees my students with more clarity than I do and she has never laid eyes on them. I can use her sense of vision!
Applicable quote of the day:
"To those of you who received honors, awards, and distinctions, I say 'well done.' And to the C students, I say you too may one day be President of the United States."
George W. Bush
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org