First I must apologize to you, my reader, as well as my buddy Will. It seems that maybe I was a bit overbearing back in the day. As evidence as such I will tell you that we, my ex then late husband and I, employed for a brief time a young man by the name of Will.
What I will tell you about Will is that he reminded me of my Dad. A wiry, young country boy with a sense of immortality almost magic. He almost died. Wait, I think maybe for a moment he did. He swam back and forth on a lake until he drowned 'cause he never took the thought of drowning as a possible consequence. At sixteen years old he thought he would live forever. When I visited him in the hospital I took him a pink dinosaur floatie all blown up with a note that said Please use this the next time you go swimming, Will.
And he has so far. He's flying off to Germany to once again fight for my right to come here and say who he is. All now I can say about Will is that I am most grateful for the young man he has become, for the love he shows others and I wish, I wish so hard that we as a nation would not give one of our wiry, young country boys up to a world of such violence and death but then I turn on the television and realize we are doing it every day on our very own soil.
Off to the homeplace to visit who, some of my most favorite people in all the world of course.
And, yes, you're gonna cringe when you read this letter I wrote to Will back in 2005, is this a lawsuit waiting to happen, some type of workplace harassment?
There are several reasons that I was disappointed in your report card this last nine weeks. Most importantly, there is no doubt in my mind that you are a very intelligent young man, and it is my belief that wasting such a gift is the worst thing that you can do in your life right now. Although you may be tempted to roll your eyes and scoff, please know that I only come to you with my own 35 years of experience and hard lessons learned along the way. No ulterior motives…just a basic interest in what is best for you.
Following is what I found on your report card:
1st 9 weeks: 86 Average = B
2nd 9 weeks: 80 Average = C
Semester: 83 Average = C
3rd 9 weeks: 77 Average = C
What is obvious is that your grades are falling and a C average is unacceptable for someone of your intelligence. The only comment I saw was from your Algebra teacher, who stated that you were sleeping in class. First, you have to let me know if work is interfering with school. School is the most important thing at this time, and work should not get in the way. If not work, then you are going to have to figure out what is getting in the way of you being the best that you can be. Following is a list of the most common problems that teenagers face:
1) Peer pressure
4) Problems at home
None of these may be your problem, only you truly know. Whatever it is, you can overcome anything because you have people around you to help. All you have to do is ask.
My suggestion on school is to first make a commitment to be the best you can be this last nine weeks. Nine weeks of total focus on school, absolute focus. If you need nine weeks off of work to do this, let me know and your job will be waiting. That is how serious I am, Will, and that is how serious you need to be, also. Use a calendar to mark off your weeks, document any grades on the calendar so you’ll know where you stand.
Second, go to each teacher and let them know your commitment this last nine weeks. Ask them for any suggestions they may have. Stay in close contact with your teachers. Do all homework and discuss any issues that you don’t understand with them. Talk with them before and after tests. You’ll be surprised at how willing they will be to help you. Most teachers are excited about a child interested in learning. Use that to your advantage.
Thirdly, get good sleep, eat right and stay away from friends and things that interfere with that. Keep your mind clear and focused this last nine weeks. Remember an A average equals $1/hour raise.
If you need extra help with any subject let me know. I have been blessed with a large number of very intelligent friends. They are all at your disposal. All you have to do is ask.
Just nine weeks out of your life, Will. After that you can cruise through summer vacation smiling. No pressure from me after this nine weeks. That is not a very long time, and it will be over so fast. Until then, if you decide that it will be okay for you to work, I will be on your butt. I will want to know about grades, what is going on with you at school and how you are progressing.
One last note….have you ever read Wilson Rawles’ book titled, “Where the Red Fern Grows”? I don’t care for the movie. You must actually read the book. If you haven’t, my suggestion is that you go to the library and check it out. I have read that book at least five times. Among other things, the book speaks of dedication to me. This is the dedication that I think you need to give to yourself and your schooling right now. Read it and let me know what you think!
Will, I was blessed with a mother who told me that all I had to do was visualize my dreams, stay focused on my goals and I could do anything. She made me believe that! Now I give that to you, please remember that as wild as you can dream, as big as you can imagine, as much as you can ever want…you can have. Just see it and focus, it’s all within you.
Now do it!
Note to reader. Do you think that Hitler had early letters and maybe they sounded kinda like the one I wrote to Will?
Gratitude that Will is still willing to speak to me.