Failure is good

“In my freshman year of college, John Robinson taught me failure is good. I got a 15 percent on his first assignment, and it was the lowest grade I’ve ever received.”

What a legacy!

That’s from this post by Brynn Walker, one of my former students in “Writing and Reporting” at UNC-Chapel Hill. The headline of the post is “Teachers Beyond the Classroom.” It was a recognition of teachers whose lessons have stayed with her as she enters the real world. I’m honored to be in there. It appears I’m in good company.

The rest of her paragraph about my class: “It was in the winter, and I remember saying to my friend the temperature is higher than my grade right now. It was only 54 degrees outside. I lost 50 points for spelling someone’s name wrong TWICE. And what did that teach me? People are most important.”

Honestly, I doubt I taught her about failure. She played golf at Carolina and athletes know to grow through failure. As Michael Jordan said, “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life.”

Brynn is now a pro golfer. Look for her on the tour.