Learning from Mistakes?

December 13, 2007
By dylan pohl, Wilmore, KY

hat do you think mistakes are made for? Are they a pain to you? Are they helpful to you? Actually, they are both. I believe people learn from their mistakes.

“Stop scissor-walking!” yelled the cafeteria monitor. Mrs. P. wasn’t a well liked ruler in the school. Besides the fact that she made us sit boy-girl at the lunch table, or that she would make kids eat their mixed up leftovers, she got us in trouble for anything she could possibly think of. She was in love with power. I’m sorry, I thought to myself. I didn’t know it was against the law. “That’s a consequence for you,” she said. Well, since that day, I haven’t scissor-walked. Behaving in school means learning what you can and cannot do, and I cannot scissor-walk.

But scissor walking wasn’t my only problem. “Try it again!” said Coach. Coach Johns was the kind of coach that wouldn’t ever let you quit. My past season, I struggled horribly from the line, shooting only 65%. I was trying different routines of free throw shooting until I found the one with the best rhythm. I’ll never forget that day when I hit twenty straight free throws. Two bounces and a spin in my hand made all the difference. Success in shooting free throws takes repetition, as well as trying new methods.

Mistakes don’t just occur in sports either. They also show up in your schoolwork. Writing a paper takes several drafts. Like when I wrote my personal narrative in sixth grade. It seemed as though I would never finish. Narratives are those kinds of papers that require editing after editing. With all the red correction marks, I felt it was never going to come to an end. “C’mon Dylan,” she urged. “It just takes a little motivation.” I ended up with a total of four drafts. But the last one was completed to perfection.

I believe it takes more than once to get things right. That’s why we are given second chances. In my life, I have learned tremendously from my mistakes. From some of those mistakes, my free throw percentage has risen by over 10%.

-Dylan Pohl

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