Surprise, Surprise

November 4, 2007
By Grant Gunderson, Jacksonville, FL

Surprise, Surprise
I couldn't wait for success, so I went ahead without it. - Jonathan Winters

Hmmm . . . which color should I use to color next red, yellow, green . . . “Can I come in” asks my mother, “Why sure you can” I replied. “Listen” she said, “I just received a phone call from your school’s PTA President, and you’re one of 3 winners in the school who won the reflections program at the state level.” “Wahoo” I said exhilarated. “You one along with a 3rd and 6th grader” she explained. “Inside all I could think of was how exhilarated I was about winning that contest due to the fact that I was only in 1st grade!” Man what an excellent writer was I back then in first grade!
The next day at school I asked my teacher if she was notified of anything about me winning the reflections program. Her reply was simply “no, I haven’t” “HUH? I thought what is this some kind of joke, was I pranked, given the false alarm, what’s going on here?”. “Is something wrong?” she asked me. “YES” I replied. “On Saturday I received a phone call from Mr. Curtis Miyahara, our PTA President. He told me that I was one of 3 winners in the school who won the reflections program at the state level.” “Whoa, you entered the contest and won, let me call his extension and see if I can find out anything” “Mr. Miyahara how may I help you?” “Mr. Miyahara it’s Teri Kamiya – 1st grade teacher.” “Oh, hi Teri what’s up?” “One of my students here says he received a phone call this weekend because he won the reflections program, is this true?” “Well, let me look at the list of winners for 1st grade. Is his name Grant Gunderson?” “Yes it is” “Well congrats, you have a winner in your class” “Thanks Curtis” “Well, Grant you’re right congratulations!”
“Ready to go Grant?” “Just a minute mom.” I replied. Tonight was the Banquet and awards ceremony for winning my school’s contest. It was at the Pearl Country Club at 5:45 p.m. When I arrived I was like where is everybody? After I went inside the hall I was greeted by the PTA President, Vice PTA President, Principal, Vice Principal, and my teacher, they had a bag full of toys and games that must have weighed a million trillion pounds! We all to a picture together and found our seats. This nice young man told us that the banquet line would open in 15 minutes and the ceremony would start in 45 minutes.

It was my mom, dad, brother, sister, grandma, grandpa, 2 of my grandparents friends, my teacher, my principals, and both PTA Presidents. We got in line to eat and boy did it all look scrumptious! When we arrived back at our table my mother asked “Grant, aren’t you hungry?” “HUNGRY, ARE YOU CRAZY? I’M so tense right now I do know what to do!” “Besides the food is too peppery and bitter.” “Folks we’ll be starting the awards ceremony in 1 minute, enjoy the food.” What am I going to do! I’m so terrified of messing up on my way to the stage or even worse messing up on stage! “If we could all have your attention please. At this time we would like to start the awards ceremony and do the literature category first. Thank you and enjoy the ceremonial part of tonight’s program. “Uh Oh that’s my category!”
“1st up we have From Kanoelani Elementary School. . .” “I don’t know if I’m ready for this!” “. . . Grant Gunderson!” “No, Yes, No, Yes Oh what the heck let’s do this.” “Congratulations, Grant you won this merit award ribbon and this certificate right here, and let’s have a round of a plause for Grant and for a job well done!” Man that wasn’t so bad after all I thought I did just fine! But man do I have to get these lei’s off they’re making me as itchy as a cactus trickling all over your skin. Once I finally re-gained my confidence and welcomed myself back to the real world I had a chance to look at all my toys and games. Whoa, water guns, gift certificates, $20.00 bills, t-shirts, I MADE A FORTUNE!
The lesson I’m trying to get in to people’s hard head basically goes back to the famous quote by Jonathan Winters. When I didn’t know whether or not I was ready to walk up to that stage and accept my award, I left my success back and took it like a man! It’s not about winning or losing or doing something so awesome that you try to win an award. It’s that you made sure that you knew the concept or lesson trying to be taught, if you don’t believe in yourself then reality, confidence, and success are going to pass you by.

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