I Did Not Fail You

“I did not fail you, you failed yourself !!!
I gave you all the tools you needed, you chose not to use them”

Those are the words of Mr David Lucia, my eighth grade English teacher, a man I admire greatly and have a deep respect for.
It is the response he gave to me when I asked him why he failed me in his class, and those words are something I have never forgotten.

Because I did choose, not to use the tools he gave me, I had to repeat the eighth grade, all of it, not just his class, and it changed me forever.

You come to a realization in your life, when someone has the balls to be totally honest and blunt with you, and they do not care about the repercussions, that something in your life needs to change.
What he told me that day could have gone one of two ways, I could have had the attitude….. well screw you, you did this, you failed me, to inflate my ego, and pass the blame on to someone other than myself.

But it went the other way, I took responsibility for failing his class, and for getting grades that were barely passing in general.
The next year, I went from being a C, D and F (mostly D and one F) student, to being an A and B student, and I made damn sure I was an A student in Mr. Lucia’s English class.

The year after that, my sophomore year, I took no electives, no study hall, I doubled all my major classes, I took tenth and eleventh grade in the same year.
It was a lot of work, and left me with little time for anything but school and studying.

However, it made it so I would graduate on time with my original class,

the class of 1987 baby!!!

All because one teacher had enough courage to tell me
“I did not fail you, you failed yourself !!!
I gave you all the tools you needed, you chose not to use them”
For that, I thank you Mr Lucia.
Your words are always with me in everything I do, whether it is running my business, being a parent, or writing this blog or my book.

(we are friends on facebook I’m hoping he reads this)

I told you that story so we could get to this one.

As you all know, last week I introduced all of you to my book, The Teapot and the Trumpet ©

Mr. Lucia’s words are never far from my thoughts, and they certainly made themselves heard on this journey I am on of becoming a published author.

A long time ago I made a change in my life, and a promise to myself that I would not fail at any endeavor I took on, I would see it through until I had success.

I have gained great success in my life, I am married to the best woman alive,
I have two beautiful daughters, and a grandson.
I own my own business and now have a book ready to be published.

So Mr. Lucia, and all of you, my dedicated readers, whom to me are more than that, you are friends.

I will not fail myself, I will not fail you!!!


25 responses to “I Did Not Fail You

  1. That is so awesome! I wish there were more Mr Lucia’s in the world. I’m sure he’s extremely proud of you. Kudos to you both!!

  2. Hey Expert,
    First off, Welcome.
    I really hope you enjoy what you find here 🙂
    I too wish there were more people like Mr. Lucia.
    Its funny how one sentence can have such an impact on our lives, all because one person cared.
    Thanks for taking the time to stop by 🙂

  3. As the butterfly beats its wings and causes a hurricane, so every life has an effect beyond its comprehension. Great post – sounds like we’re on the same page. I look forward to browsing here. 🙂

  4. Hey Stuart, Welcome.
    It is true every life effects other lives in ways we may not know.
    Thanks for your kind words and for stopping by.
    I hope you enjoy what we do here 🙂

  5. What an awesome story! And kudos to you! I’m am so impressed! Your jr and sr year say more to me than the sophomore year! That is a very inspiring story. Thank you for sharing!

  6. Hi Jim…impressed, as always…I would be interested in reading more about the promise you made to yourself…is it already a post?…if not, would you consider.

    Be encouraged!

  7. Hey Stephen,
    It is not a post, but could be, let me put some thoughts together and I will let you know for sure.
    Thanks for your very kind words and for stopping in 🙂

  8. We all have teachers in our lives who showed us the way. Mine was Mr. Larry Johnson, Algebra teacher at Albemarle High School. Thank you for helping me remember him and his remarkable ability to inspire his students, especially me.

  9. Hey Train
    Im glad you had Mr Johnson, these people make such an impact on our lives, they help make us who we are
    Thanks for coming by Train 🙂

  10. I love this!!!!! Great post, thanks for sharing.

  11. Hey Lady,
    I am glad you liked it, and your welcome it was my pleasure to write this, but really thank you so much for coming by 🙂

  12. I’m so glad you had one of those major life-changing experiences with your teacher. I don’t think any teacher goes into teaching actually wanting to fail a student. The teachers I do know always want the best for their students. Some, they just can’t get through to.

    But, as I’m sure that Mr. Lucia is a very inspirational teacher, I ALSO believe there was a special quality in YOU that allowed yourself to be open to being inspired.

    Your eighth grade experience could have been so different had you rejected his evaluation of the situation. So while Mr. Lucia deserves a special place of honor in your heart, don’t forget to acknowledge the courage it took to accept the natural consequences of your choices, and also all the hard effort on your part it took to make that turnaround happen. You didn’t have to transcend that experience of failure. And yet, you did exactly that.

    There’s a pretty apt quote said by Albus Dumbledore to Harry that seems appropriate here:.

    “It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”


    Here’s a brief explanation for the powerful quote:

    “In the Harry Potter series…Dumbledore reminds us that who we are and the direction of our lives does not depend on our past, the amount of money we make, our parents, our ability to sing, our mental capacity to learn, our looks, or our athletic ability. Rather, it is our choices, whether large or small, that determines our character, personality, and the satisfaction we derive from life.”

    Just think what if you, or Harry, just said, “screw it, I just can’t do it”, it’d be a very short novel and you wouldn’t be here to share with us your experiences 🙂

  13. Hey Casey,
    Thanks for those kind words 🙂
    I was asked by one of our friends who follow this blog to elaborate on the promise I made to myself in this post. So I decided to write it, It will post Sunday 1201 am est I hope you get the chance to read it 🙂
    Thanks for popping in 🙂

  14. Jackie Paulson

    Thanks Jim for visiting my blog, I have my Law of attraction on http://lawofattractionsuccess.wordpress.com/ which I need likes and followers. I do love to visit people who can inspire me and you did do that….needed it working 14 hours a day… Jackie your fan

  15. Hey Jackie, Welcome to my blog, I hope you like what you find here.
    It was my pleasure stopping by your blog I really like my time there.
    I will check out your other blog for sure, Just so you know Sundays a new post, Wednesday is re-blog Wednesday and another post on Friday on this blog you follow me on twitter so you will get my tweets when I post.
    Thanks so much for your kind words and for stopping by 🙂

  16. Pingback: Beautiful Blogger (Blog?) Award | AllThingsBoys Blog

  17. Pingback: The Turning Point | Where The Grey Matter Pours Out

  18. Mr. Lucia cerainly lit a flame in you! None of my teachers inspired me in such a way, to a life time of learning; my route is much more circuitous and less driven. Kudos to you and your teacher.

  19. Oh, I and like the name of your blog!

  20. This is a terrific post Jim. Glad I held onto all the posts… and now responding. 😉

  21. eof737, Thank You so much, I am glad you liked it.Glad you had the chance to stop by
    Thanks Again

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