Tuesday, May 11, 2010

True Story Tuesday

You know...as a teacher, I think it is important to make connections with your students. Seems to me that the more you give of yourself the better they act and the more respect you earn. So, at the beginning of the school year I tell my students about my background. So here is the true story I share about why I think I'm a better father (and person) then if I had not gone through this experience.

My parents divorced when I was going into 8th grade. By the time I reached 12th grade, there really wasn't much of a relationship there. I didn't play high school basketball my Junior year, but wanted to try out my last year in high school. At this point, my birth-father had moved to a lake almost 2 hours away from my hometown. If you've been a child of divorced parents, then you understand the ole rule of "my weekend vs your weekend". Well, needless to say, I HATED leaving my friends/girlfriend every other weekend during my senior year. It was November, 1991 and basketball tryouts were in full swing. Of course, being 17, I really tried to make excuses why I wasn't going to travel north for the weekend - this time, it was real! I call ahead to tell the old man that I was not going to be coming up due to practice - he begrudgingly acknowledges this and I leave it at that.

I come home to find my mom already on the phone with him as he is chastising her for not FORCING me to go (mind you, not only is it bad enough to go in the first place, we were always picked up by his new wife). I get on the phone and he begins to rip into me - saying he's sick and tired of me not going to see him, my disrespectful behavior, my irresponsible way...you get the idea. I'm not saying much back at this point - which infuriates him further. Finally, he says, "until you want a father, don't ever bother me again!". I say, "Really!" and hang up the phone.

That was November, 1991 - and we are still not talking to this day. He did make a short-lived attempt at reconnecting a while back, but his continued poor actions did not make up for the words of apology.

Sadly, I get students who cry each year I tell this story. Sadder still is the fact that many (too many) of my students have gone through situations that mirror mine. In the end, I become a father figure to many of my students - and that is just fine with me! I embrace that role and take comfort in the idea that I just may be making a difference beyond the classroom in an arena more important than education.

For more True Story Tuesday check out Rachel.


McCrakensx4 said...

and what a good role model you are...most of the time!! lol

Angie said...

And your students are better for having someone like you in their life to help them in those situations.

Lisa said...

THis is cool you have a blog too, i love it.

Kelly said...

My dad lived here in town, and made it impossible for me to have friends while I was at his house. It was like going to prison for the weekend, can I have something to drink, can I use the restroom, can I wear this dress. I hated going to stay the night, by high school my overnights had stopped and I was just visiting an hour here and there. Only on his weekends, even now I hardly ever see him. I completely understand wherre you are coming from. Too bad any of us had to go through that!

I enjoyed your story.

Foursons said...

Wow, I am heartbroken for your 17 year old self. What a horrible, horrible thing to have to go through as a young man. I am just as sad that the relationship has never been repaired. I can't imagine what your father is thinking.

TheRixonFive said...

Hopped over from Rachel's blog. Loved your story and the moral therein. Before I quit to stay home with the kids, I taught high school English. The thing I found they need most, is someone who shows up everyday. Great job!

He & Me + 3 said...

YOu need to put your email in when you comment so when you ask me a question i can email you back from my comments. Ask Stacey how to do it. You will get lots of emails from your comments. it is fun.
I know this story of your life all too well. I have seen it in real life. Very sad my friend. Good for you being a positive male in your students lives.
WE pay someone to do our lawns silly we have for the past two years. No lawn mower here.

Mr. Daddy said...

I enjoyed your story...
thanks for linking up..

P.S. it is good to know that some apples do fall far from the tree.

Keep up the good work and God Bless

Rachel said...

Hey waitaminute... are you Stacey's husband? Cuz my own husband (Mr. Daddy) needs to get his own blog too if he wants to post yucky pictures of his wife's flu face, ha ha.

I didn't have my own father in my life. And sometimes it's better that way. But I had an amazing role model in my dad. So many kids are missing that important part of their life - and it doesn't need to be a blood relative to give that positive example. Kudos to you!

Thanks for linking up!

Michelle said...

Hi Ryan! It's Michelle (White) .... I love your wife's blog and love to see what you guys are up to. She makes me tear up and smile. How cute it is that you have a blog too. I will enjoy reading yours also. I know all to well the divorce situation and feel the pain. Keep doing what you are doing with your students. Take care, Michelle