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If you would have told me years ago that I would frequent the hallways of high schools on a regular basis at this stage of my life, I would have laughed in your face and probably called you a liar. Fact is that I dodge students all the time in hopes of not being trampled. This week was no exception thanks to the start of the after-school writing program I instruct through the True Star Foundation. This fall our session got off to a slow start mainly due to the teachers’ strike here in Chicago. I wasn’t complaining though. Out of respect I was rooting for the teachers to get whatever it was that they wanted. After all, they do have one of the hardest jobs in the world; a job I never ever wanted to do. Never.

Think about it. Not only do teachers work hard at broadening the young minds of today’s youth (many of them reluctant), but the teachers also serve as counselors to teenagers full of attitude, and in many cases act as an on-the-spot parent teaching someone else’s child right from wrong at least eight hours out of a day. Yeah, never something I wanted to do at all.

The ironic thing is that while I’m not “officially” a schoolteacher I have taken on many of these same teacher duties as an instructor with True Star. What’s crazy is that after all that talk about what I wasn’t going to do, being an instructor has probably been the most fulfilling gig I have ever had. One of the main differences between what I deal with and what an average schoolteacher deals with is that my students generally want to be in my program. The teens on the editorial team use their free time to better themselves and make a difference within their generation through their writing. They cover topics that range anywhere from health to relationships to entertainment. The best part is (wait for it) – they like it. I love, love, love that!

Thanks to True Star I have met some pretty amazing teenagers who could very well make some positive changes in the world if given the opportunity. Don’t get it twisted though. Every now and again I do cross paths with a young mind still in his or her phase of knuckle-headedness, but I try not to let that distract me. It’s the positive changes in the lives of some of these kids that I have witnessed over the last few years that warms my heart and keep me inspired. Trust and believe me when I say I never thought I would be here doing what I’m doing. It just goes to show that you should never say never.

This post probably has a lot to do with the excitement of the start of a new session with a fresh crop of students. Don’t be surprised if I write something in a few weeks talking about how much these kids get on my freakin’ nerves. I’m just kidding. I would never do that, because they never get on my nerves.

Ha! That was funny.

Until next time,


Photo: Discovery.com