Students as Winners and Losers

I still believe that every student can be a winner.  A winner is someone who shows up every day and works hard, caring about achieving results, even if they don’t often succeed.  You can get Cs and still be a winner.

But too many of you are comfortable being a loser.  Being a loser has nothing to do with talent or even results: it has to do with maturity as evinced by discipline and effort.

Some of you may think it’s rude to label someone as a loser, but I know that honesty can be a higher virtue than immediate kindness.  It’s a sign of a greater caring, a devotion to guiding you to success, even when you don’t care enough to improve.

This truth leads to even more important truths: being a loser is a bad thing.  It doesn’t make you a bad person, but it does make you a bad student, and being a bad student isn’t good.  If you have chosen to be a loser, you should feel bad about that.  You should want to change it and be a winner.

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One Reason Why I Love Crossword Puzzles

I just finished doing last Sunday’s syndicated New York Times puzzle.  I’m pretty proud, because it’s only the 2nd Sunday puzzle I’ve ever finished without having to cheat and Google a single answer.

I’ve done dozens of these now, and it still surprises me how stumped I can get by simple answers, just because of tricky clues.

In this one, 14 across was “Where roots grow.”  I immediately got it into my head that it was about plants.  Five letter answer…SOILS?

It wasn’t until I had a P in the final spot that I realized: it wasn’t about plants, it was about hair.  SCALP.

A good crossword puzzle shows us how we make assumptions, and it challenges us to constantly re-evaluate them.  This is a mental skill sorely lacking in our day and age.