When so many negative occurrences receive coverage in newspapers, television, and gossip, many people forget that positives existed and still exist, especially teachers. I shall never forget David and a few others like him who participated in speech and essay contests for which they received no scholastic rewards and expended a great deal of effort. Of course, everyone knows that the most feared activity is public speaking. In fact, I once told my participants that they should always remember that every member in the audience applauded their bravery. When I was the representative of the school for every speech contest, I received transportation for myself and contestant(s) from a representative of the club. Naturally, I was responsible for my actions and for the actions of the students. However, one day, I recall someone in the class I was leaving calling out, “Just don’t come back pregnant.” Teenagers are unpredictable if nothing else. The gentleman who was my escort asked, “What did she say?” Hoping he suffered from a hearing difficulty and remembering something I had learned from other students, I replied, “I think she was referring to the pageant.”
On one occasion, I encountered a male chauvinist as a judge. When he spoke to me and referred to me as “Honey,” my participant gasped. He knew very well how such lack of respect would have been received in the classroom. When I said nothing, not wishing to jeopardize his placement in the contest, David gazed at me quizzically, perhaps thinking I also suffered from an inability to hear. The judge again spoke to me, this time calling me “honey” or “sugar.” Reacting as if nothing were amiss, I ignored the remark. Each time I saw the young man look at me in a very uncomfortable way. Just before the contest began, this chauvinist pushed his chances and called me “baby.” I saw David raise himself to his highest statue, much smaller than the judge, and facing the individual, state, “You must not know who this is; this is Dr. Pruett.” I was sure he had blown his chances for a win even though he did a remarkable job! Sometimes in life, good things do happen -- David won, and I still have a picture, snapped by my husband, of David and me, he holding his certificate and check for the win.
Teachers never know what their requirements will be or what their students may do. This surprise let me know that teachers are important enough to deserve positive attention and support. Also this time, David defeated his Goliath without even having a slingshot. No physical wounds attested to the contest as in the Bible; however, definitely David was the winner!