Tough Love

Adam - Wellesley, Massachusetts
Entered on March 8, 2009

Tough Love

One day instead of doing my math homework, I was sitting in my basement watching SpongeBob Square pants and loving the freedom that came with not having to worry about schoolwork. I was carefree and I loved it! When I arrived at school however, it was quite the opposite. My day started out normally, counting down the minutes until recess. Right before morning recess our teacher, Mrs. Murphy came around to check none other than the homework. It seemed that with the exception of my-self everyone had done it. Mrs. Murphy was so disappointed that I had not done it and yet everyone else had that it made me feel a rotting sense of shame growing in my stomach. Mrs. Murphy gave me a note that asked me to give a reason for an excuse as to why I did not do my homework and left a blank line for my parent’s signature. Embarrassed with myself I halfheartedly scribbled down “I forgot.” Later that night, I did both the homework assignments, the one that I had “forgotten” to do and the one due the next day. However, I was too ashamed to tell my mom that I had forgotten to do my homework, let alone ask her to sign the note. The next morning I showed Mrs. Murphy my two homework assignments hoping that she would not ask for the note. To my dismay, she asked, and when she figured out that I did not have it she was deeply upset. She was so angry that she had to call my mom and update her about what had been happening.

Looking back, although this was really annoying of her to do, in the end it taught me a lesson and that is more important. Although I did not understand it at the time, that day I learned something that I hope I will keep with me the rest of my life. Upon committing a mistake or unvirtuous act don’t be humiliated and try to hide it, claim responsibility and try to correct the mistake. This really clicked in my mind when this year in English we were reading the sheet ‘Cool quotes for Teens.’ There was a quote by Marcus Aurelius which was very similar to mine now. Believe it or not this has helped me in multiple situations.

If upon committing unvirtuous acts do not be ashamed and try to hide it, claim responsibility and try to correct the mistakes. If only I had understood that in the 5th grade, thank god I understood this during my time at the middle school. Everyone and I mean everyone has gotten a bad grade on a test, essay, or project. The funny thing is after getting a bad grade lots of people just stuff it in their backpack’s, blame it on the teacher, and try to forget about it. Knowing what I know now however, I take responsibility. I go set an appointment with that teacher, I go see her and check if there is an error analysis I can do and what I should do to prepare for the next test. Whatever you do in life, always act proactively on your mistakes.