Seemingly Meaningless Moments That Were Anything But
May 11, 2022
I often experience these flashbacks or memories that seem like they have no business being remembered, yet somehow I remember them. And how good these memories are…
During my freshman year, I was ignorant of the antics of certain seniors. I can’t remember if I was nervous; perhaps I ate a bad breakfast. Whatever the case, I needed to use a stall, pronto. It was my lunch period and the line in the bathroom was unusually long, I waited my turn and as a stall opened up I went in, and quickly I sat down with almost no time to spare before I felt a certain sensation I had never felt. I became a victim of the classic icy-hot prank. I did everything I could to clean myself up. One of my biggest flaws in life is that I am an over-sharer. So as I approached my lunch table, I told them the whole story. And they, to this day, laugh at me.
Can I seriously reflect back on this and somehow think fondly? I would contest that the answer is yes. After my first Biology test with Mr. Scheler, my mom looked on Plus Portals (Turtles) and saw a 68%. This wasn’t good. Now I was normally a bus rider, but I was rousted extra early to go and talk with Mr. Scheler. Of course, this was my mom’s idea, but I agreed–I needed to improve. There was a time in my life when I could not have any hard conversation without breaking down in tears. Today I am still a highly emotive person, but I’ve got the crying under control. At about 7:30 I approached Mr. Scheler’s room, failed test in hand, and broke down. How embarrassing, yet he put his arm around me and told me I was smart enough to do well in his class. Of course, doing well is relative to each person. I can say proudly I did not earn an A in freshman Biology, however, I stayed in the class all year and persevered.
In my first year here at Tiger Tech, Coach Knable was my freshman P.E. teacher. I have a core weakness of being unable to say “no.” So naturally my freshman year Coach Knable convinced me to wrestle. Wrestling was something I had never done and I was pretty anxious about beginning the season. I had no idea what I was getting into. At the first practice, I went to all of the upperclassmen and followed as they took off running in circles. After a full football season, I thought I was in shape; however, I was shocked when they told me the warmup was over and now we were starting practice. “Starting now? I’m gassed!” The next morning I could hardly peel myself out of bed. In the locker room the next morning, I walked in and immediately thought to myself, “No way, I will practice again.” Coach Kraezig might be able to read minds because at that moment he came over, put his arm around me, and all of a sudden I believed in myself. Just like that, a spark was put into me and I believed I could do it. I know Coach K doesn’t remember this interaction but this moment was anything but meaningless.
Christian Awakening retreat is an unbelievable experience. If you fail to embark on a retreat as a student here at The High School then you haven’t completed the experience. At Mount Saint Francis where the retreat is held, there are numerous trails. My favorite part of the retreat is the extended break periods where you have time to go get lost in the woods with your friends, totally free of technology and outside noise. Along the trails, there are little shrines where inside boxes there are notebooks. People leave notes to future travelers, poetry, prayers, art, and anything else you can think of. As a junior on retreat, I wrote a note. The note reminded the world of the love of God. I told any future traveler that God loved them deeply, and personally. What I didn’t know is that the future traveler would be me a little over a year later when I returned as a senior leader. As a senior leader, I was hearing the same messaging; however, once I read it from myself in my own handwriting, it hit me. I think back on this moment as an absolutely pivotal moment from my time at St. X.
Now, my last day of classes at St. X is in the past. Graduation is only a short time away. I remember these things so fondly. Taking this time to reflect has allowed me to realize that the guy who sat on the icy hot is no longer that guy. Of course, I am the same person I was four years ago, but as Heraclitus said, “No man stands in the same river twice.” It’s bittersweet knowing that change is coming. No one likes change; there was nearly an uprising this year when they switched the sauce cups in the cafeteria. Change is hard; yet, what is life without change? How can I know where I am supposed to be if I haven’t been “there” yet? St. X changed me for the better. Now, all I can do is sit in my gratitude and say thank you. The truth is I am a lot more comfortable with the man I am today, rather than that boy who fell victim to a silly senior prank.
As I go depart from St. X, I find comfort in one place. There have been times when I have asked teachers who have taught my brothers, “do you remember Kevin or Jimmy?” Oftentimes they smiled and said, “oh yeah, tell him I say hi.” However, there are times when my brothers are simply forgotten. I too, will be forgotten–as we all will. The important part is my refusal to ever forget St. X.