The Misbehaving Student’s Coming of Age

How a child who’d not done well in his younger schooling careers became a somebody as he grew up, translated…

I have an elementary classmate, nicknamed “Woody”.  Woody didn’t do well in school, and, anything relating to the academics, he’d gotten punished for scoring too low a score.  Once after an exam, the teacher waved a graded test, called out to the class, “XX Woody, who is this?  Is there a student in the class by this name?”

Everybody in the class burst out laughing, Woody’s real name was “Jie”.  The teacher said, “You can’t even write your own name?”, and naturally, Woody got punished, again, and gained himself the nickname of “Woody” and “XX Woody”.

Actually, our homeroom instructor didn’t give up on Woody, instead, she’d done all she could, to help him get his grades up, one of the tactics our homeroom instructor used, was having the girl who’d made the highest scores on the exams sitting next to “Woody”, she’d told the student, “You need to check Woody’s work before he turns it in, and help tutor him on what he couldn’t understand.”, and, combined, with the entire class’s grade competitions, what we’d competed in, was everything, including the students’ grades as small groups too.

The girl worked very diligently, in what the teacher asked her to do, treated her as an alternative version of our instructor.  She’d gotten very mean with Woody, and started disciplining him verbally AND physically too; because she’d felt pressured by the competitions of the small groups the class was divided into, every time as Woody written down the wrong answers and she’d not discovered it, she’d gotten blamed by the students in the same group.

As she entered into college, she’d started getting into the marches, and reviewed over the realms of education in Taiwan, started seeing her own faults as a gifted-and-talented student, who proud she was in her younger years as a student, and that she may have, hurt someone in the process without ever realizing it.  And, Woody came to her mind a lot.

That girl was, me.

Because I’d lost contact with all of my elementary school classmates, I’d not found the meals, or the courage, to find out, where this “misbehaving child” that’s gotten scolded by the adults since he was growing up went.

At the start of this year, my elementary school classmates had found an assortment of ways online, to find almost everybody in the class back, on the first of the Chinese New Year, we’d had a class reunion at my hometown in Nantou, although I live in Hualien, I’d still, made the long drive there.

I’d arrived late with Mimi Chou, and, as we got there, everybody was already, celebrating the occasion, Woody was so happy to see me, he’d greeted me as I entered, he’d told my daughter, “Your mom was the best friend I’d ever had.”  But, as the drinks were passed, being a bit intoxicated, Woody started, telling the truth about me to my daughter, “Your mom was very mean, kept nagging me.”  Although the atmosphere was great, and, everybody was joking, I couldn’t help, but feel that I’d, done him wrong when I was younger.  I’d waited until an opening, and asked Woody, “So, how are you faring?”

Woody started looking serious, and told me, “Reporting to Ya-Chun, I’d still not done well enough in the academia, after I graduated from my skills school, I’d worked at a bank in the sales department, and due to an opportunity, a client introduced me into the construction industries; now, I won’t brag, but, I’m now, in charge of a couple hundred of workers.”

I kept laughing, told him, “You’re, already, a grown adult, and here I am, pretending to still be that child.”  I’d swallowed down the words “I’m sorry”, I knew, that Woody had, already, forgiven me.

Woody after he’s grown, is passionate, kind to people, mature in handling all his affairs, with an established career, acted as the entertainer in the classmates.  Later on, I’d talked about this with a fellow classmate, she’d sighed, sharing my thoughts, “Yeah, who could’ve guessed, that Woody was going to turn out to be this well-adapted as an adult?”

Grades are NEVER everything!  I hope that our education systems, the parents, the kids, as well as the school teachers, can treat all these children who don’t “perform well in the academia” better.

So here, this still proves, that GRADES don’t make the man, the man, is what makes the M-A-N, like how this misbehaving boy grew up, to become a leader in his industry, treating his employees, as well as others kindly, and, the girl who’d tutored him felt bad over how hard she was on him, but, without her grilling him, he probably couldn’t have, become as disciplined as he’d become…

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