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  • My first failure, that I recall was in 3rd grade. Every Friday, my teacher would write a note to my mother, seal it in an envelope and hand it to me. I faithfully delivered it to my mother. One week I did everything I could to not talk outloud in class. To do what the rest of the class was doing. In my mind I was succeeding.

    Friday afternoon, the teacher handed me the envelope and I carrried it home. Looking forward to the good report, I sat with my mother as she began to read.

    “Dear Mrs. Pfeiffer, there has been no improvement in Tony’s behavior this week.” I don’t remember the rest of the letter or what my mother said to me. Disappointed, I decided why bother? It seemed no matter how hard I tried, the teacher wasn’t going to change her attitude about my attitude.

    I got an F the second grading period for sophmore gym class. The F was due to attendance and attitude. It was one grading period only. The last two I got C’s again due to attendance and attitude. That failure taught me to go to class so I could be graded on certain physical feats. It also reminded me that my attitude affects my grade. So, the theme continued.

    What is interesting to me is the recall of two failures are related to school. I don’t think about how many times I struck out playing baseball. My self disappointment isn’t measured by how many dumb things I’ve said. Too many. Ask my wife.

    My failure recalls focus on the assessment and attitude of two teachers who judged me with a bad attitude. Unfortunatly that bad attitude sometimes still remains since I made the decison to not try to change. That decision may be my biggest failure.
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