Wednesday, December 2, 2020

No regrets (except for 8th-grade algebra)

People talk all the time about wanting to go back and relive certain parts of their lives.

Not me. I'm good where I am, thanks.

I've had very few real challenges in my 51 years on this planet. I'm blessed beyond measure and certainly beyond anything I deserve.

You would think, then, that I would have a whole menu of wonderful memories I want to experience again. And I guess I do. The first time I kissed Terry was pretty cool. Watching my kids be born was mind-blowing. Even the first song I managed to play on a saxophone ("Hot Cross Buns," for the record) was a thrill.

But I don't look backward much, other than all of those World War 1 podcasts I listen to. I'm much more about the now and the what's-to-come.

With one exception: Mr. Mazer's algebra class at Wickliffe Middle School. It's the only class I ever failed in my life. To this day, I can't explain what happened. I had something like six A's, one B, and an F on my report card. Who does that?

The fault, by the way, was entirely my own. I was too immature to ask for help when I needed it, and too irresponsible to do anything once I had fallen hopelessly behind.

The next year I re-took algebra as a freshman with a different teacher and got A's across the board. Mr. Mazer had done everything right, I had done everything wrong. I wish I could go back and retake the class as an eighth-grader and pass it like I should have.

But that's it. Everything else can stay as it is...or was.


  1. I appreciate the reflection. Whenever friends suggest to me that wouldn't it be great to go back to some period of time in life I quickly and adamantly respond "no. I would make the mistakes that shaped who I am today." Which is why I remind my boys that we learn far more from our mistakes than we do from our successes. To do so, however, we must own these mistakes. Otherwise, without ownership, we can't put these to work. Again, Scott, thanks for sharing your perspective.

    1. You put it well, Jim, thank you. Owning our mistakes...I can always get better at that.