I relearned a valuable lesson recently. Many years ago, there was an Olympic speed skater who was very close to the finish line. Then he fell. He wasn’t hurt, but he sat on the ice and had a pity party.
He couldn’t hear the commentators, who were yelling through their headset microphones. All he had to do, they said, was get up and skate across the finish line and he would get the silver medal. He didn’t even have to skate fast.
You see, his numbers across the board were so high that he couldn’t fail, even if he didn’t win. But he didn’t. When he finally rose to his feet, he skated off the course and never finished the race. And the silver medal went to someone else.
I had a case where a student just needed to write a two-page paper and she would get an A for the course. It didn’t have to be very profound. It just needed to be mediocre and it would bump her grade up to the next level.
But she didn’t do it. In fact, she seemed very testy that I even suggested that she complete this last assignment.
Folks, don’t be like that. Finish from a position of strength, not weakness. When she needs a letter of recommendation for that perfect job, I will remember her as a quitter. It would have taken very little effort and probably less than an hour for her to complete the task, just like the skater who only had a few feet to go to win a silver medal, but didn’t.