December 14, 2009
There are many people on this planet. Last I heard, the count was somewhere around six billion. That’s a lot of people. But one has stood above the rest in my life. He has served to mentor me since I moved to the city of Cleburne, helping me down the right path through his mistakes. He no longer works with the school system, and probably never will again, but we still continue to communicate, as I work for him in a videography company, and we go to church together. His name is Lee Ewell.

When I first moved out to Cleburne, I was a little nerd, and as such, I had no friends. Sure, the teachers were nice and all, but one was nicer than all of the rest. He was my beginner band teacher, the guy who taught me to play baritone. He was in his late twenties, had hair down to his shoulders, and liked rocking out. He would usually teach us for three-quarters of the class period, then let us mess around for the last bit. During these mess-around times, I made some friends that are still some of my close friends now, six years later. Through his teaching me how to play baritone, I found out that I have a natural talent for playing low brass instruments. I eventually grew up and turned into a tuba, where I have been the top player in the school for two years and in the top band for three. If it weren’t for him, I probably would never have stayed in band, but he taught me how to mess around while still playing music. Because of my dedication to the band, and the relaxed personality that I debatably got from Lee, I am also the Band President.

After the sixth grade, I didn’t see him except on Sundays and Wednesdays at my church, where he was the tech guy. I have since inherited this position from him, which pays pretty good. This job would never have come my way if he hadn’t taken me under his wing in the eighth grade and taught me how to properly use a soundboard and the computers used for the slideshow. Thanks to him, I can now put down on my resume that I have experience operating sound equipment and the sort, which I forsee being a great asset to me.

Over the years, he has also helped to instill in me a larger tolerance for different kinds of people that I normally would not have. I was brought up in a good old American household. No tolerance for drugs, cursing was prohibited, racism was totally out of the question. Then I found out in the eighth grade that the reason that Lee had left the ISD was due to a drug problem that he had, and I realized that maybe just because one does drugs, one isn’t necessarily an evil person. My learning of this helped me learn to tolerate all kinds of people, and now I have friends in literally every little clique in the High School.

Not everyone is the same person, everyone has different experiences. Just because there are bad things in someone’s life doesn’t mean they should automatically be shoved into a stereotype, as Lee showed me. God bless America, where anyone, even ex-druggies, can be a good influence on someone.

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