Getting a Mule to Drink Education

You can only be truly successful if you take complete responsibility for your life. – Anonymous

One of my pet peeves is someone who blames everyone else for his or her failures. You’ve probably known people like this. They go through life whining about how they’ve been wronged, hurt, slighted or cheated out of what should have been theirs. Instead of being courageous and taking charge of their lives, they grow old disgruntled, still believing life owes them something. Running around life with a huge “chip on one’s shoulder” is so tiring.

I have one student in my class who has such potential to succeed, but he suffers from this problem. He whines because he lost his book. During class, he told me the grammar concepts I was teaching were stupid. After all, he can write, why did he have to learn the terms of the language?

Last night I had had enough and I blasted him. I told him he was very smart, but utterly lazy. I told him he could write his own ticket if he just quit whining and started working.

He stared at me and bragged about the grades he had gotten last semester without opening a book. I retorted, “That’s fine. But imagine what you could have done if you had studied! Don’t you realize there are scholarships out there for students who are willing to PROVE they are smart? What are you afraid of?”

He realized I had his number. At that moment, he realized I knew he was afraid of failing, especially if he puts effort into it. If he doesn’t work and fails, he can say, “That’s okay. I didn’t study.” Again, he’s made an excuse for himself and thinks he can back out gracefully.What a waste of a good mind.

I have three more weeks of this semester left to inspire him. He’s worth the effort, even though he doesn’t think so right now.

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2 thoughts on “Getting a Mule to Drink Education

  1. You’re a great teacher for taking him on. A lot of people would just leave him to his own devices, but you care! I really like this – it would be a far better world if more people were like you 😉

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