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Frayed Threads and Patched Relations: My Journey from Detriment to Forgiveness

Smith Opens Up About a Struggle

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Frayed Threads and Patched Relations: My Journey from Detriment to Forgiveness

Grant Smith, Editor-In-Chief

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Throughout my life, I have always attempted to go with the flow. When problems arise I tend to deal with them, and do so in a relaxed and calm manner. It’s somewhat ironic how the following story played out, because just previous to its occurrence, I was reflecting about the absence of problems, in terms of MV. Not that my entire life was going wonderfully, but as for my relationship with MV, everything was good. So … I will do my best to explain the story with accuracy, then I will explain what happened afterward that ultimately resulted in a positive outcome. The person I had issues with wished to remain nameless, and I will honor that request. However, because of this, I am limited on how I tell the story and what I can say. So, let us pull this thread, and watch it unravel.

The beginning of the school year is extremely tough for me. I am unsure why, but each new school year, for about two to three weeks on average (to my demise, this most recent session lasted much longer) I experience frequent, if not constant anxiety. I’ve not a clue why this occurs. The only explanation I can reason is that I like order, and that includes a schedule. When my summer schedule is dramatically and unexpectedly shoved into a school schedule, I get thrown off balance. This year, as I said, was an especially tough beginning. Along with the anxiety, I experienced depression and other wonderful blessings.

Going to school was already a struggle, because of the reasons I mentioned. So when the issues started to occur, it struck my emotions. The issues were not huge — nothing that would cause me to quit school, but it was something that did not make going to school any easier. So far, what I was experiencing was mostly verbal vilifications.

Frustrated, I entered the class on a Thursday. Then, abruptly, I felt a shove from behind.  It was the teacher. I was stunned. Never had I had a student place their hands on me like that in all my time at MV — let alone a teacher. Then, in the same class period, the teacher went on to throw verbal negatives in my direction, such as, “You suck at life,” and, “You are failing miserably right now.” For someone that was currently under enormous amounts of anxiety and depression, I did not take the comments, or the push well. So, I decided to do something about it.

That night, I talked with my girlfriend Emma about the events that took place. She encouraged me to bring it to the attention of someone. VZ, when I asked, also agreed. Many that know me know that I am very close with many of the staff here at MV, and they know I usually bring no issues. So when Mrs. Julie Littlefair heard I was in the Student Services office requesting to report a teacher, she was shocked. I first talked to Mrs. Caitlyn Klaybor about the situation. We then discussed my current mental state. In short, Mrs. Klaybor was amazing. Ironically, she is my neighbor, and over the summer my sister moved in right next door to her, so we had seen some of each other in the past few months. But, I cannot thank her enough for her support and understanding throughout the whole process. And, Student Services as a whole, I might add, is quite wonderful.

The office handled my situation with such professionalism, and talking to Mrs. Klaybor allowed me to let the weight that had been hanging on my shoulders fall. As I talked to Mrs. Klaybor, relief flooded my emotions. As the story unfolded, I couldn’t help but feel better — and not just about the dysfunctional situation in class, but also my own personal anxiety that was not brought on by the situation.

After about two hours of talking, we came to a conclusion. I had three conditions: I wanted to talk to the teacher directly with Mrs. Littlefair and Mrs. Klaybor in the room, I wanted the teacher to know who reported them, and I also told Mrs. Littlefair I wanted to write about the situation in the newspaper. She agreed.

Since this was all happening on a Friday, I was required to wait until Monday to discuss my issues with the teacher. When Monday rolled around, I was not at all nervous about the meeting, which was set to take place 6th hour (that is not the hour I have the class). The meeting, which turned out to be more of a conversation, went well. Actually, it went really well. I stated my concerns, the teacher apologized, and I explained that I hold absolutely no grudges toward this person at all. All in all, it was somewhat quick — the entire meeting only lasted about 20 minutes (I expected to be in there for over an hour). The teacher and I talked while Mrs. Littlefair and Mrs. Klaybor moderated. As the meeting ended, I could tell there was no tension. I could feel the air begin to clear. I have completely forgiven said teacher, and I actually feel extremely confortable around this person now. Honestly, I expected this outcome. I knew the teacher was not a bad person —  I never thought that. But, I know there are other students who felt the same as I did; the sarcasm and joking was not needed, but it was not done in spite.

Since then, my anxiety and depression has lightened quite a substantial amount. More than I expected. The teacher and I are getting along well. I have much respect for this person, and feel as though I could even confide in the person, if needed.

Thank you to Mrs. Littlefair and Mrs. Klaybor for handling the situation well. And, also, thank you to the teacher for handling the situation so professionally. I believe this is a start to a great relationship.

About the Writer
Grant Smith, Editor-In-Chief

When I have an idea, I write it down and share it with you

7 Comments

7 Responses to “Frayed Threads and Patched Relations: My Journey from Detriment to Forgiveness”

  1. Marilyn Holt on September 20th, 2018 8:37 pm

    What an outstanding article Grant! Thank you for sharing ! Students certainly need to hear how to solve problems. Faculty, staff, administrators and all adults need to be reminded of the importance of their words and actions. You have graciously shared with all of us the win / win way to solve conflicts! Thank you!!!!

  2. Brenda Good-Morris on September 20th, 2018 9:27 pm

    Grant, what a wonderful, positive article about a difficult situation. You exercised wisdom beyond your years. You also have a forgiving & optimistic heart . With your core values you will do well. I am looking forward to reading more from you. God Bless.

  3. Lacy Evrard on September 20th, 2018 9:39 pm

    Great article straight from the heart! I like how you resolved the problem, by communicating! This story could have had a much more bitter, and ugly turnout. Some people hold on to interactions like these and internalize them. Then hate and self doubt take hold. You crushed all that by being open, honest and prompt.

  4. Christina Johnson on September 21st, 2018 6:58 am

    Great article Grant!! You are an amazing writer and always write straight from your heart.

  5. Christy Prosise on September 21st, 2018 9:22 am

    Grant – Thank you for sharing your story with all of us. I pray this will help other students know that if they have an issue with a teacher, they can go to their counselor and handle it. Hope you have a GREAT rest of the school year! PS: If you ever need anything I am in Study Hall.

  6. Gloria Farrar on September 21st, 2018 10:04 am

    Grant, you are one impressive young adult.

  7. Emma Newell on September 21st, 2018 11:57 am

    What a talented writer! Proud of you and the way you have made a difference in your community! Everyone should read this! Also love the new website and social media!

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