Friday, March 3, 2017

{solsc} 3/31 #sol17 She Never Earned a One

She's a senior who worked hard, listened to her coach, and came to every rehearsal she signed up for.

She never received a coveted Division 1 at District Speech Contest to move on to state competition.

She never whined about it,
never complained,
never gave less than her best.

She never earned that one, but what she gained in four years is immeasurable.

As a freshman, she was quiet...really quiet. Sometimes I could hardly hear her speak. There were no facial expressions, no gestures. She couldn't look up at the audience. Her pieces were not very dynamic, to say the least.

But she tried. And she came back the next year. And tried Group Improvisation, an event so far outside her wheelhouse, I couldn't believe she came back for the second night. But she did.

And she got better.

As a junior, she tried again in both group and individual events, Again, she was quiet, but not as quiet. And more dynamic. She listened to what I had to say and tried to incorporate it into her pieces.

And she got better.

This is her last year in speech. With cheer and dance, she came to me and said she didn't think she would be involved in Large Group this year, but she had some ideas for Individual.

When she finished her Literary Program the night of her first rehearsal, I was blown away.
She looked me in the eye, read with confidence and enthusiasm. There were facial expressions and gestures. It was fluid, there was vocal variety. It was the best I had ever heard her.

I couldn't help but remember that shy, quiet freshman who stood before me for years ago. It reminded me why I coach speech. It's not the ratings. It's not the All-State nominations. It's building confidence in my students as they get ready to face the world.

She may never earned that one, but what she gained in four years is immeasurable.


  1. This has to make your heart swell with pride. She was lucky to have you to guide her and help her develop her voice. That skill will be useful for the rest of her life. Wonderful tribute to a hard working student!

  2. The skill set that you helped her develop will stick with her for the rest of her life and help her in becoming a greater woman. Her perseverence over the last four years is amazing. Kudos to both of you!

  3. When there is a student that you've known so long, & seen the sparkle emerge, it's a gift received, & one you've given too Deb. What a wonderful story.

  4. Wow, what a girl! So many young people are tempted to give up and quit an activity if they can't find success. She was just as much of a winner for sticking through it without the reward.

  5. I am that girl you write about. I am that girl 40 years before this day. I am that girl who could not get up, who could not speak up in front of a group w/out falling apart. I did not win any trophies until the end of my senior year in high school.

    Those four years were the beginning for me, as they are for your student. Please tell her from me to keep pushing, keep trying.

    Eventually four years earlier turn into 40 years later. A lifetime of getting up and speaking up has passed, but the girl never loses the wonder of those first four years.

    1. Oh, Glenda. I will tell her this. She is a wonderful young woman and I want so many things for her.

  6. What an accomplishment. It's not the Wins! It's all about the Journey! Way to go, both of you!

  7. Her story inspires me. There are many victories here!


3/17 I'm So Lucky

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