It's a sunny afternoon at the McCallie School in Chattanooga, and seventeen year-old Will slips out the door of his English class and marches down the hall. He slept in this morning and in his hurry to get out the door and away to class, he forgot to grab a necktie and was dismissed by his teacher for breaking the dress code. This is not the first time; just yesterday, Will's chemistry teacher sent him to the Dean's office for wearing sneakers and keeping his shirt un-tucked.
-Will, work with me here. You know the routine. This is getting ridiculous,"" the dean had said.
"Yessir, I know. I'm really sorry."" Will replied. "I promise it won't happen again, it really won't."" .
This last thought crosses his mind as he stalks past the dean's office, zipping his sweatshirt up to his neck to cover his bare shirt collar. He has already decided it's a bad day, and his mood darkens further when he spots his Bible teacher walking towards him as he checks his mail. He never turned in the two page essay that was due Monday, three days before, and brainstorms frantically to come up with a palatable excuse for not handing it in with everyone else. .
"How's that presentation coming, Will?- Chaplain Rogers calls out as Will tries in vain to make it around the corner unseen. He freezes abruptly "his palms are suddenly sweaty. How could he have forgotten? .
"Oh, it's almost finished, sir,"" he lies smoothly, inwardly cursing himself. "There's just a lot of material on my subject, so I'm going to sort through it all again tonight."" He is giving a presentation to his New Testament class first thing in the morning, and he makes a mental note to start on it as soon as he gets back to his dorm room. .
Will's story is a common one. At first glimpse, it is easy to write him off as the generic problem child of his class. If you were to randomly ask passers-by on the street, probably everyone you would ask could refer to a kid like Will in their own experience that could seemingly never do anything right.