I love good quotes. There is a white board in my office area where we put up different quotes every week, and I’m always on the lookout for new ones. Today I heard one that stuck with me. It’s from the movie Rocky Balboa. It’s not about how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. In boxing those who end up staying on their feet the longest are the ones who can take a few hard blows. They may end up looking like a broken mess, but the winner is the last one standing. And isn’t that what life is like too? Getting beat up is a given. And hitting back at life doesn’t always make a difference. Sometimes, it’s just flailing and wearing ourselves out. There are definitely hard hits in life, but the ones who end up getting what they want are the ones who don’t fall down immediately and stay down. It’s the ones who take the punches and plow through.
I liked the idea behind this quote because it’s kind of what I try to do for myself. But it’s also what I wish my students would do as well, at the very least in school. Too many of them hit hard patches and instead of trying harder, they just give up. One or two hits, and they’re out. It’s disappointing as a teacher, of course. I lost some students this semester. A couple dropped, but a few more simply quite trying. It’s also disappointing though because I want them to succeed at more than my class. I want them to try hard at life. I know some of them will get it figured out later. It may take a couple of class failures to sink in, but on the other hand for some, this may be it. They may leave this semester and not come back. In that case, I hope they find the path that works for them. The one that gives them success. As much as I love school and learning and most things academic, I also acknowledge that school doesn’t do it for everyone. Yes, I think everyone should believe in lifelong learning. But for some people, that learning may not be in a structured classroom. At any rate, the semester is over. And today, I’m thankful for that. It’s going to be nice to have a break.