Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sometimes You Win When You Lose

     When it comes to being at a certain place at a certain time, there are two kinds of people...those who are early and those who are late. My wife and I are the perfect example of each. I will be sitting in the church 15 minutes before church starts. My wife will scurry in behind the choir. I would rather not go to something if we're going to be late. My wife is completely oblivious to the time. If something is at nine, she seems to think that nine is the time to leave the house.

     At school we had Dan, who was a character, with a terrible late problem. As you know schools don't take tardiness lightly. 

     Dan's lates started gradually. He filled in late slips and dutifully reported to study hall for his detention. Well, unfortunately schools up the ante as the lates continue. Schools even phone home about lates. After a phone call Dan would be on time for a few days or a week and then the whole scenario started over again. So then Dan's very supportive  parents were called in. There was improvement for a short time. The parents made sure that Dan left the house to be at school on time but he was still late. The parents drove Dan to school for a while to get him there on time. 

    One day the vice principal caught Dan sitting on a swing at an elementary school. The vice principal picked Dan up and brought him to school. By this time Dan and the vice principal were good friends even though the Vice principal had laid it on pretty heavy.

    It slowly began to sink into our thick skulls that there was something else at play here and not just tardiness. What could it be?

    The vice principal had his suspicions for a while. Dan was being harassed by kids on his way to school. By coming ten or fifteen minutes late Dan avoided his tormenters.  By having to stay after school he again missed his tormenters.

   So it was finally agreed that Dan would be excused for coming late. He was given some chores to do after school. Dan was satisfied with this arrangement and so were we. We lost the truancy battle but saved ourselves from failing over and over again.

    Are you someone who has to be somewhere 15 minutes before or are you somebody who crawls in just after something starts?