When he walks down the hall, he does so in his own time. We called it Chuy speed. He was always at the back of the group whenever we went to get breakfast, go to our next class, or go to Physical Education. Chuy is happy on his own time.
When we discussed the meaning of the word “popular” in class, I held up Chuy as my example. It was an easy example. Nearly everyone knows Chuy, As we made our way through the halls of Waco High School he was always greeted him like an old friend with
smiles, fist bumps, high fives, and even hugs.
I was honored to sit with him during graduation and go with him up to the stage. Yes, we did so at Chuy speed, and yes, every five to ten feet we walked, someone from the crowd would shout congratulations to him. He beamed from ear to ear. We beamed from ear to ear. I think I was as happy for him as he was happy. I realized what a special moment this was for me. I got to reap the benefits of all the teachers that poured their lives into Chuy’s education over the last 12 years. I think the ancient book talks about how some get to sow, others reap. I was reaping the joy of their accomplishments, along with Chuy.
After the celebration, I waited with Chuy in the crowd of other graduates waiting for his family to find us. His aunt found us first, and I introduced myself.
“Hello, my name is Timothy. I’m Chuy’s teacher, and he is my student.”
Chuy and I immediately looked at each other, and we realized, it was no longer true.
“Well, I used to be his teacher, and he used to be my student. Now we are just friends.”
We both laughed at the new realization.
I hope you can see how special Chuy is. He is a solid young man, who made his way through 12 years of education at Chuy speed, and graduated from Waco High School Class of 2021!
All pictures are copyright © Timothy J. Hammons 2021.