I just got back from my Jr.High science club. Before class started I stopped by my old Language Arts teacher's class, Mrs. Koshak, and chatted for a while. I asked her if she saw me in the paper, she said she was proud of me, and we got to talking about underachievers, overachievers, GATE kids, all sorts of stuff. She told me she remembers me as a super-overachiever, and she said there's one story she remembers of me that she shares with her kids each year.

I had been working in a group project on some presentation we had to do for the class, and we'd all done our parts and we were ready to turn in the project, sitting there in class, but I just wasn't happy with it. She said I sat there all fidgety and upset saying "It just needs something... it needs something." I got up and walked around the class, looking here and there for whatever it was that I thought it "needed", until I found myself a piece of yellow construction paper. She said I cut out four little triangles of yellow paper, and glued them to the four corners of the front page of the report and I stepped back and looked at it and said "There. Now it's perfect."

It was just a tiny little detail, so insignificant that no one but me would notice it, but to me, it was vitally important to bringing the whole thing together.

She said she uses that as an example of the difference between good, and wonderful.

Now, what struck me about her telling of this story was not the fact that she thought I was wonderful, but the fact that she told this story to her kids. Do you remember being in Jr.High, sitting in your desk, and your teachers would always recount funny or interesting stories from kids they'd taught before? I used to sit there in my desk and think to myself "Some day they're going to tell stories about me."

Of course after I left Jr.High and school in general, I never thought about it anymore. It wasn't important to me if my teachers told stories. But now I know that they do... I'm that person. I'm the one that left a lasting impression and set the standards for "wonderful" for all the little kids in school today. I'm that kid the teachers remember, and they cut my articles out of the paper and save them in a scrapbook of kids they did a good job on. The ones that succeeded.

And I'm one of them.

It's really weird. I'm not telling you this to brag or to boast or anything that I normally do. But just because I felt a weird kind of peace when she told me that. It gave me a second to step back and look at myself on a whole, and stop complaining about the fact that I'm behind on my rent, or my waist is inches bigger than it used to be, or I still bite my nails.

I've succeeded. I've left a mark. They remember my name. I'm an overachiever. I set the standard for wonderful.

Yeah for me.