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The Impact of Kindness

Tonight’s blog isn’t about running. It can’t be…

Today was probably the most difficult day I have ever experienced as a teacher. Today an entire student body mourned the loss of one of their own, Hogan Teem. Hogan has been the light of my homeroom for the past three years and I am fortunate enough to have seen his smiling face every single morning with this amazing girlfriend. I’m having a hard time coming up with something running related to write about so instead, I want to take a moment to remind myself and to remind the world how kindness trumps all, even in a world that can often seem so evil.

Hogan was not your average high school student. He was the type of person who never met a stranger, and if he did, he’d make that person his new best friend  within a minute. He didn’t judge, he didn’t gossip, and he never disrespected anyone. He took pride in absolutely everything he did. 110% effort all the time. Perhaps one of the things most unique about Hogan was that he had friends everywhere. It didn’t matter who you were or where you came from, he was always there to help. Just to share a few stories… A student today told me he had only met Hogan three times and Hogan treated him as if he had know him forever. He then said, I want to be remembered like Hogan. Another student talked about how Hogan always gave him money if he needed to buy food and never once asked for him to pay him back. Another student told me that she didn’t know a lot of people in one of her classes and he would always come and sit with her. One girl shared how people would pick on her but he always told her she was pretty. Yes, he was that amazing person who only comes around once in a while. Hogan touched the lives of literally everyone he met and his kindness affected us all. We are all better people for having known him. There has never been a silence like that throughout the halls of CHS.

A few weeks ago Mario’s grandmother passed away at the age of 92. One thing Mario pointed out to me was that no matter what, she was always there to help other people. She genuinely cared for all of those around her. A 17 year old had that same personality and that is what gives me hope that there is still a whole lot of goodness in the world. People always remember how you make them feel and Hogan made the entire world feel like they were special.  That is something we can all aspire to achieve during our lifetimes. I will miss seeing his smiling face every morning.

Happy Trails and Happy Running,


Running Update: Today was an optional day off and I took advantage of that. Tomorrow I have 12 miles on the schedule THEN I am going to run the Girls on the Run 5K race with the fabulous RI ladies. I’m looking forward to it.

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Each life has a purpose. Some achieve so much good in a short time. It is sad when they leave. But what a blessing it must have been to know one such life. My prayers are with you, Hogan’s family and your school community.

    December 15, 2012
    • Thank you Andrew. You are so right – I was blessed to have known him for three years and we are all better people because of him. 🙂

      December 16, 2012
  2. AllysonTeem #

    thank you – it helps so much to read words about my ‘little boy’ that I thought was an amazing person but never knew how amazing he really was. It is nice to hear and read words about him. He so loved his school and all of the people there, his Church and his life. Miss him

    February 15, 2013
    • I am sooo happy you read this! I think about him everyday and I continue to see the impact he had on the students. I will continue to keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. Hogan is deeply missed.

      February 15, 2013

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