Fourteen years ago, I fell into a puddle during recess.

One of my only memories of preschool was from that recess. I remember running from the small playground to the swing set across the field. Except—and maybe what was the worst moment of my life up until that point—I fell into a puddle of mud. Naturally, I responded how any typical four-year-old would: I cried for my mom.

For me at the time, it was basically hitting rock bottom.

However, Mrs. K, the preschool teacher, saved me. She showed me kindness and did the only thing that would have made it better. She called my mom to bring me clean clothes. Twenty minutes later, I had Band-Aids on my scraped knees and clean clothes. And all was right in the world again.

More Than a Phone Call

Mrs. K’s act of kindness apparently affected me so much it’s one of the few memories I have of preschool. That poor teacher could have responded to just another crying kid by telling them to suck it up and wait until the end of the day for their mom.

Except, instead she cared enough to answer my cries. Looking back at that memory, I believe that her caring for me affected how I saw my teachers after that day. Instead of seeing them as looking for a way to fail me, I saw them as compassionate people. And how I viewed teachers changed my perception on school itself. I began liking school.

More Than a Song

Every week in chapel, we sing the benediction. I think it started when I was in grade 9, but now it has become a part of chapel, and to miss it would make chapel incomplete. Before we’re dismissed, everyone raises a hand and sings, “The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make his face shine upon you.”

Maybe there are some people who simply sing it out of routine or wanting to delay going to class, however, I believe that there may be more to it. Singing this blessing is more significant than we realize. Simply singing the benediction in chapel shows the community of ACS care about those around them.

More Than a School

From just these two examples, if I have learned anything throughout my fourteen years of attending ACS, it’s that people here care for each other. I’ve learned this many times, starting with when I fell in that puddle, but again every week in chapel. The compassionate people of our school’s community makes ACS a different place. The teachers and the students care.

A few weeks ago, I was driving a friend home. She asked me hypothetically if I could redo my high school experience anywhere else, would I? I thought about it for a moment, and then responded with no. I wouldn’t redo my high school experience if given the opportunity. If I were to go somewhere else, it just wouldn’t be the same.