What’s some stuff not everyone knows about me? Let’s see. For some reason, people usually express surprise when I tell them I was born in
That’s not much of a revelation, though. So what else can I share? Well, I used to play saxophone in elementary and junior high. I was first chair in the stage band. I say this not to brag but to point out the reason why: practice. I had weekly private lessons and something my teacher once said has always stuck with me: “If I skip practice for a day, I can notice it. If I skip for two days, my audience can notice.” I followed this mantra to become a better saxophone player, and in the many years since then I have used it as a concise reminder of the value of diligence.
On a more embarrassing note, I’ll share a cautionary tale from my freshman year of high school. On the first day of school my English teacher told us to write a short paragraph about our favorite movie, television show, or book. Rather than applying myself or giving any effort at all, I goofed around gabbing with a buddy until five minutes before the end of class, at which point I dashed off a few sentences about the latest movie I’d seen. The next day, the teacher read off a list of names including my own. The chosen ones were escorted down the hall to a class for remedial writing instruction. As soon as I sat down and my new teacher asked us to read a sentence and figure out what was wrong with the first letter in the first word (it wasn’t capitalized), I knew I had screwed up royally this time. I immediately apologized and asked to return to my original class, but I hadn’t figured on how many times my new teacher had heard the line, “I don’t belong in this class.” So it took a week of pleading – “I’m sorry! I’m a goofball! I didn’t take the assignment seriously! Let me write another essay and prove it to you – pleeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaase!” – before the teacher finally relented and allowed me to remedy my mistake.
Thank goodness my parents never found out. Not to mention my saxophone teacher!