Copyright © Louis Schmier and Atwood Publishing.

Date: Sat 5/21/2005 6:27 AM
Random Thought: Come Back In A While

Got a call early this morning, real early. Luckily my angelic Susan was already fluttering about getting ready for the lobster party we were co-hosting tonight.

"Hey, Schmier. This is Katie. Finally!"

Oh, did I know that voice. "Kinda early isn't it?"

"Oh, you've been up for hours. I bet you've already walked."

"Just got it."

"I've been trying to get you for over a week. Where have you been? Why I didn't see you at my graduation? "

"Sorry. I was going to, but I had personal family problems come down, and my wife and I had to hop in the car and run up to Charlotte. You know, one of life's unexpected curve balls."

"Well, I'm sorry to hear about that. You've had a bunch of those pitched at you this past year. I still wish you were here."

"Me, too."

"I wanted you to see me in my graduation gown and walk across the stage. I also wanted you to meet my parents so I could brag on you."

"I hope you bragged on yourself. You've earned the right."

"Well, anyway, I'm about to be off. I wanted to thank you for being there for me all these years. You didn't have to be."

"Yes, I did."

"I owe you big time for all you've done. I want the world to know that thanks to you, and only to you, I never gave up. I stayed in school and stayed with it all, got off of everything, changed my life around, got good grades, graduated, and got a good job waiting for me. I'm going to be a career girl that you'll be proud of. Can you believe that?"

"Who will be proud of?"


"Yes. You deserve all the credit. You've done all of it yourself. You've come a long way, a real long way. You decided to climb your mountains. You should be proud of that. Don't ever forget that everything you've done is the result of choices you chose to make and the risks you chose to take and the faith you chose to have in yourself."

"Not without knowing you were only a phone call away or in that funky place you call your office if I weakened and was tempted or got off course in one of my courses."

"I truly appreciate what you just said. Thanks. But, the most important days of your graduation begin with your tomorrows. That's why they call graduation 'commencement.' So, come back in a while and then tell me what you owe to me. Anything I might have done is now in your hands to shape. Come back and show me how you turned out in life. Show me that I've helped you help yourself continue to become who you are capable of becoming. Show me how well you've done with your life. I don't care what job you get. I don't care how much you make a year. I don't want to hear about your clothes, your car, and your 'stuff.' Show me the stuff you're made of. Show me what you've made of your life. Talk to me about your choices and conduct. Talk to me about purpose, integrity, caring, respect. Tell me how you continued to resist temptation. Tell my how you helped others like you were helped. Tell me how you changed obstacles into opportunities. Tell me how you weren't afraid of taking risks. Tell me how you got up after you fell."

"Why did I know this was coming," she chuckled.

"Well, your grades were just a very small part of your success. Your success at VSU laid in the fact that you started to learn to believe in yourself and trust yourself, and to risk giving it all you have. It was only the beginning. I want you never to forget that in your case, your grades were a reflection of that new sight and perseverance and commitment and change, but they weren't success itself. Your career likewise will be a small part of it all. What you will do will be a small part of it. Who you will become will be all of it. Come back in a while and talk of the really important things you've done and who you have become."

"Always teachin', aren't you, Schmier."

"Always teachin'."

         Make it a good day.


         Louis Schmier      
         Department of History
         Valdosta State University
         Valdosta, GA  31698                 /~\        /\ /\
         912-333-5947              /^\      /     \    /  /~\  \   /~\__/\
                                 /     \__/         \/  /  /\ /~\/         \
                          /\/\-/ /^\_____\____________/__/_______/^\
                        -_~    /  "If you want to climb mountains,   \ /^\
                         _ _ /      don't practice on mole hills" -    \____

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