Saturday, March 19, 2011

Backup Plan



Several years ago, there was a student at the alternative school for at-risk teenagers that I made the mistake of accepting. At the time, students had to pass an interview process I supervised as the assistant principal. Soon after this particular student was enrolled, a problem became evident. The student had bigger issues than our small school could handle. These issues led to a crisis over several months that had the potential to take us down as a school. We survived, but I wouldn’t say unscathed; the relations among the staff were permanently damaged and there were health issues.



Fast-forward to present day. I see a list of the most popular internet search words of the day, and a name I thought I would always associate with stress is hanging out, right there in the middle of the list. No, it couldn’t be . . . click. What the? Problem Student is on American Idol.



I flashed to one of the hours Problem Student and I sat together in his mandated class of one. I was attempting to design a writing program for him, inquiring about his interests. He had big dreams. He either wanted to be a professional wrestler or a rock star. I was frustrated with the amount of staff time the kid was sucking up like soda. His dreams annoyed me. I was dreaming that he would be a fully functional adult with a job and an apartment. What I said to him was: you might want a backup plan.



I don’t keep up with American Idol, but I catch Problem Student when I can. Except now, he’s more like Best Singer Ever. At least that’s what the judges seem to be saying whenever I see the show. And yeah, he’s really good. Not necessarily my kind of music but talent you can’t deny. I cried the first time I watched him perform, only because I’m really happy for him. He’s the survivor of formidable challenges, the poster child for you-really-never-know. Funny that I was the one in need of a backup plan at the exact time Best Singer Ever followed his dream.



Next week, I would have officially run out of funds to afford the apartment without a full-time job. Next week is my first paycheck from my new full-time job. I could be making plans to move in with my parents, sending my daughters and extended family into chaos. I did not realize just how close it was. Strangely, there have been so many other things to worry about, I forgot about losing the apartment. Things can work out just in time. Sometimes, hope is the backup plan.

 
 
picture: http://www.flickr.com/photos/28096801@N05/3525799414/sizes/l/in/photostream/

3 comments:

  1. Did you happen to watch AI this week? Your former student talked about having hope. Maybe that was his plan B.

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  2. Serious? I love that. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oESCe_XngOo

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