The Turning Point

In my last post,
I Did Not Fail You
I wrote that I made a promise to myself, and one of our friends stephenedwards425 (Who has a great blog, you should really check it out)
asked if I would consider elaborating on this promise to myself, so I decided to, and I also decided to have a little fun with it.

The year was 1983.
Jim was trying to fit in, trying to find that all important popular click in Jr. High.
He was an ok student up until this point, but something changed that year in eighth grade.

Jim started hanging around with kids he thought were popular, the smokers, the outsiders, the kids that seemed to be living their lives their way, doing what ever they wanted, the bad boys.
This was so appealing to our impressionable young Jim, that he made the decision that school did not matter, and no one, was going to tell him what to do anymore.

His grades began to slip, he was just barely passing, he stopped actively taking gym class (although he really liked sports)
He began talking back to his teachers, and being disrespectful to those who were not part of the group, he turned his back on his parents,(what did they know anyways)
All to impress his new friends.

Trouble mounted for Jim,
he was in trouble at home because of his grades, his mother told him “If you fail you wont be going to summer school, you will repeat the eighth grade. Is that what you want?”
Our troubled teen did not care.
Trouble seemed to follow Jim where ever he went, detentions for not doing homework, suspension for getting caught smoking at school, plenty of blood pouring out of his nose up on the hill, trying to prove his strength.

Then the end of the school year came, Jim had to hand over his last report card of the year to his parents.
(it turns out mom and dad did know a thing or two)
Although it was riddled with “D”‘s and a “C” or two, that “F” shone like a lighthouse on a dark foggy night.

Well a summer of punishment came and went for poor Jim, being grounded to the house for the summer, having to do all the chores of the house, while his siblings were free to do what they wanted.

The following year of school did not change for Jim, he did not advance to the ninth grade, he did not have enough credits. He had to repeat the entire eighth grade, but he did improve his grades to “A”‘s and “B”s, to avoid the cruel punishment of housework at home.

Then it happened, somewhere’s near the end of the school year, after having it boil up inside him all year, looking to blame anyone but himself, Jim went to room 204, Mr. Lucia’s classroom, and asked his teacher.

Why did you fail me last year, in a voice filled with anger, and elevated blood pressure.

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

Not knowing how to deal with this answer, with not even a single word, Jim simply turned and walked out.
After a week or so of trying to understand what Mr. Lucia had said to him, Jim finally figured it out.

And that is when “the turning point” in Jim’s young life happened.
He took a long hard look at himself, and came to the realization that his “cool” friends were nothing but bullies and soon to be drop-outs, and Jim, really did not want to be part of this click anymore.

Jim went to see his guidance counselor, together they figured out a schedule for Jim to take all his required ninth grade course’s and his tenth and eleventh grade electives, in his to be freshman year.
Also they figured out a schedule for tenth and eleventh grade in one year, if he could pull off ninth grade with the added electives. On the way out of the guidance office Jim heard a voice say  ” please don’t disappoint me”

That is the day when Jim made the promise to himself, that if he was going to do something, that if he was going to put his time and effort in to it, he was going to do it to the best of his ability, and see it to the end, no matter how hard it was.

Jim’s freshman year came and went, he disassociated himself from the bad boy crew (although it wasnt easy, they do not like losing followers)  and set his sights on the task at hand.
Jim received “A”s and one “B” his freshman year.

Well, needless to say our young hero excelled the following year, he was now in tenth grade. He received all “A”s and one “A-“, and because of his efforts was able to skip eleventh grade, and graduate on time with his original class.

The funny thing is, in the end, Jim did not have to go looking for the
“cool , popular ” kids, they came to him, and those friendships still endure today, 25 years later.

Those values from “the turning point” in Jim’s younger days still hold true today.


24 responses to “The Turning Point

  1. Hey Scarlet,
    Welcome to my blog and thanks for joining 🙂
    Thanks, it really means a lot to me that you enjoyed this.
    Thanks for taking the time to stop by 🙂

  2. Hello, Hope.
    Thanks so much, I tried something a little different with the 3rd person narrative, it was fun to write it like that, I really hope you enjoyed reading it that way 🙂
    Dankie vir die inloer

  3. Well, I told you before, I really like this. It says volumes about who you are…

  4. Thanks Jim for the kudos…this is a great bit of writing…the third person works well…and often times is an easier outlet for us writers.

    As you know, I am one of those huge believers in the fact that each of us are already equipped with what we need to change our lives into the types we want to be…the hard part is trusting that the power is actually there. Testimonies such as yours go a long way in saying, “Folks it is there, just grab it!”

    Be encouraged!

  5. Hey Stephen, your welcome, and thank you.
    I have not wrote in the 3rd person since creative writing class in 12th grade, it really was fun, that is why I decided to write this post this way.
    I believe that we are all equipped with what we need too, it just comes down to desire.
    I am glad you liked this post.
    Thanks for stopping by

  6. That’s definitely a turning point. I wonder how many writers go through one of these? Because I’m pretty sure I went through a moment of change like this. It’s not even a moment where they discover their true calling, but rather their character.

  7. Hey Joe,
    It definitely was a point in my life that helped to show myself what I am capable of.
    Thanks for stopping in Joe

  8. Amritorupa Kanjilal

    Hi Jim,
    Brillaint third person style of sharing a memory. liked it very much! Your writing style is very relaxed and accessible. Following you now!
    Please do visit my book blog at
    and if you like it, do follow!

  9. Hey Amritorupa,
    Welcome, I am glad you are here.
    I am really happy you like the third person style, it is the first time I have done a post in the third person, and it has been a long time since I have written in this style.
    Thanks for your kind words and for taking the time to stop by 🙂
    oh, I do like your blog 🙂

  10. Suddenly Jamie (@suddenlyjamie)

    I love that you learned so early in life the importance of personal accountability and making your own path. Some people never learn those things.

    • Hey Jamie,
      the whole importance of personal accountability and making your own path thing is something I try to instill in my kids, “no one else is going to do it for you, you have to make your own life happen” is what I tell them.
      Thanks for taking the time to stop by Jamie, it means a lot to me 🙂

  11. Great post. I know it has a happy ending, but this is the kind of thing that scares me. My son is so easily influenced, even in third grade, and those are the things I worry about already. So glad that you figured things out for yourself, even if it was a hard lesson to learn. Thanks for sharing your story.

  12. Hey Karen,
    yes we do not want our kids joining the “bad boy, bad girl” club and certainly do not want them smoking. That is why music and sports are so important for our kids to have in their lives. I am so glad I had Mr Lucia, who knows what would have happened if he never spoke those words to me.
    Thanks for your kind words and thanks for stopping by 🙂

  13. Really nicely written Jim! Not too many people see the real deal at such an early age like you did. Says volumes about your character. Great job and I think we need to add this to all required middle school readings, somehow!

  14. Hey Expert,
    Thank you so much for your kind words, wow that really is nice of you to say 🙂
    I am glad you liked this post, it really makes me so happy when people like what I write.
    Thanks for taking the time to stop by 🙂

  15. Well, then don’t be mad at me for this next one…hahaha

    Tag, you’re it! Somehow, I ended up in a game of tag and I’m now tagging you! Here is the link with the rules and the one question I picked out for you to answer…:-)

  16. Pingback: A Reminder | Where The Grey Matter Pours Out

  17. Jackie Paulson

    You are a very well versed writer, and I am honored to know you. If you ever want to reblog my law of attraction posts they are at which is my 2nd blog. I love to read, and I have been where the person was in this story many times….as a single mother raising a child alone in this world, I have been stero-typed and neglected and forgotten, maybe that is a niche I can elaborate on. What do you think?
    Thanks Jim! Your fan, Jackie Paulson

  18. Hey Jackie,
    Thank You so much, I am honored to know you as well and love your blog(s).
    That definitely is a niche, and would make one hell of a story, one I would very much like to read 🙂
    Thanks for stopping by

  19. A very honest post and nicely written

  20. Hey Jessica,
    Thank you so much, I am really glad you enjoyed it.
    Thanks for stopping by, we hope to see you again soon 🙂

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