I missed Simone last week. She and a number of our students went to Washington D.C. for the inauguration and swung by New York City for good measure. On Monday she brought me a post card as a combined gift with Taylor and Raven and it will find a place on my classroom wall. Simone is a terrific student, one of the best I've known. She's also a gifted athlete, excelling in volleyball and soccer. It would be difficult for me to imagine something she's not good at. Simone also has a significant other who she calls by his given name while the rest of us refer to him by initials but that's a girlfriend's prerogative. Every class has traditions and one in mine is daily use of short video clips. In eighth period when we watch, I always retire to the back row where Simone resides and I always ask if I can sit by her. She always graciously gives her permission. (When Simone was in D.C., Cydney sat in her desk one day and we started calling her a seat-stealer but that's another blog for another day!)
Today was test day for my Gospels classes. Simone had four days of missing notes to make up and a long memory verse which she hadn't learned yet but I'm pretty sure she was in the 99-100% range- she always is. But that's not why I'm talking about Simone tonight. When she finished her test, she asked if she could to go to another classroom on another wing to retrieve some school supplies she'd inadvertently forgotten. I gave my blessing and she took a Honduras bottle which is what I send with my students as a pass. She returned several minutes later and asked,
"Coach Hawley, may I go to the rest room?"
I answered her question with one of my own:
"Simone, why didn't you just stop on the way to get your things?"
Her answer spoke volumes about Simone:
"You only gave me permission to go to get my pencil bag, not to go to the rest room."
I didn't make a big deal of it but I was taken aback. I would have never known she made a detour and truthfully, I would have understood completely but Simone operates on a higher ethical level than I did at sixteen and maybe even right now. It was important to her to be absolutely honest in her dealings with me, even if I was oblivious. You see, to Simone, we had a contract and she was not going to violate her end of the agreement. That's why I would trust her with anything that belongs to me. I remember this guy once said,
"If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won't be honest with greater responsibilities."
Oh yeah, that was Jesus! (Luke 16:10, New Living Translation) I could never think of a better example than Simone gave me simply by being herself. We forget sometimes that everything we do in public is witnessed and there is always a reaction. There was today in Room 258 at 3:15 PM. If you are looking for an intern that would be the kind of young person you want in your business, look no further. Simone wrote the best possible recommendation letter today for herself and she signed it with her honor. That's a very valuable signature.
Applicable quote of the day:
"To be trusted is a greater compliment than to be loved."
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org