My son has been playing football and baseball during the fall. This means 2 baseball practices per week, 2 football practices per week. Games start next week. His heel has been giving him trouble as boys of the this age will sometimes experience. We plan to call the doctor tomorrow to check it out. Today, when I picked him up from practice, he was not on the field. He was sitting on the sideline with a "limp". I was furious.
I know I sound heartless, but he had not limped until I told the coach he had been having pain, and he did not limp at the end of practice during field clean up. I asked about it when he got in the car, and he said the coach was not very nice. I knew what he meant. The coach was tough. In this world of "let's give everyone a trophy and call them a winner", this is the age where the athletes survive. So, it's time to make a choice. You'll suck it up and hang in there, or you'll quit...but if you quit, you can't go back. Make a decision.
Again, I know it's tough, but our kids need someone to tell them to be better than they think they can be.
It was time for the David Thibodaux talk.....
and so it goes...
My first year of college was an eye-opener. I realized that my high school education had not much prepared me for what was to come. I had Dr. Thibodaux for English 101. As most students know, you scout out your professors before scheduling, getting the low-down on the workload, testing, etc. Well, I didn't know this strategy yet. This class was tough. He graded HARD! No grammatical error slipped by him, and he had high expectations. He took no learning differences into account. He graded everyone as an equal. I worked so hard for that first-year English class. In fact, I never worked that hard in any other class for my whole college career. I hated every second of it. I had homework all the time. I could not wait until it was over.
...When it was finally over, I breathed a giant sigh of relief...and signed up to have him for English 102. Was I crazy? I just knew he had challenged me, taught me, and I wanted to know more.
You see, this man was not an ogre. He was gentle, caring, and intriguing. He had a large family, served on the Lafayette Parish school board for years as a voice for teachers fighting for smaller classroom sizes and higher teacher pay, a political activist, ran for Congress several times while I was his student (and nearly won). In fact, during one of these campaigns, his opponent claimed that Dr. Thibodaux, an author as well, had written pornographic works. In fact, it was his dissertation that had earned him tenure at UL, or something like that. This political trash talking came out days before the election and probably costed him the seat.
I learned more from 2 semesters as his student than any professor taught me. I am an English teacher today and a self-proclaimed Grammar Nazi all because of what I learned in his classroom in Griffin Hall.
Dr. Thibodaux lost his life in a motorcycle accident in 2007. It was devastating. He had so much to offer to our students and community. Today, he is still remembered as a school board member who fought for his beliefs regardless of popular vote. Today, there is David Thibodaux Magnet Academy in Lafayette. A technical school named for the late Dr. Thibodaux.
I had the honor of being his student. I am so grateful.
Lesson: When the going get tough, the tough must get going. They have to want it. They have to earn it.
When my grandmother (and best friend) was fighting cancer, I wrote a note for her and posted it by her chair, "Tough times never last, but tough people do." We read it together every day when I would visit.