My Perfect Model

In college I had a class where the mid-term and the final test were the basis for our grade, nothing else. On test day there were three questions on the chalkboard and you wrote as much as you could on each question in the hour that we had. The trick was to guess accurately what the questions would be and study a bunch on those alone. It was unreasonable to think that I could accurately guess all three, so I would guess on six, and study hard for those. The professor wasn’t trying to be sneaky in the ones he chose. If a person attended all the classes, listened attentively, and took good notes, it wasn’t hard to guess accurately, at least with six. But because there were no other assignments for the class many people skipped the class regularly, and then come test day they had no idea what the questions could possibly be. I got an “A” in the class, both semesters that I took it.

It seemed unreasonable to me that I would pay good money to go to college to learn and gain knowledge and then skip the class to do something more enjoyable.

As I write about and describe the imaginary, perfect person that I am striving to be like, one of the predominant characteristics is being responsible and faithful. A responsible and faithful person makes choices and decisions all day long based on principle, not on convenience or comfort. I remember a class I had in the seventh grade where the teacher had a ten-dollar bill and a Big Hunk candy bar. He said, ”if you offer these to a four-year-old, they can have one or the other, but if they choose the ten dollar bill they can’t have it for a week, but the candy bar they can have immediately, which one will they choose?” The class all agreed, the candy bar. Then he asked this question, “At what age will that change?” And then he said this, “Some of you might still struggle with that decision!” That class stuck in my head, and made me want to be a wise person who understood value. The inability to postpone gratification is a significant problem with many people. Mature and responsible people live by well thought out values.

One of my life values is expressed in the little motto that I learned from my Dad, “Do the right thing because it is the right thing, always.”

I want to be a responsible person who always chooses the ten-dollar bill, always does the right thing instead of the convenient or comfortable thing

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