For Kathleen’s taekwando, students must earn three “stripes” in the classes between belt testings to be eligible to move up a belt.

Kathleen usually goes to taekwando on Tuesdays and Thursdays. But this week, when she got out of her Tuesday class, she told me that belt testing was this Friday. Kathleen had only earned one stripe, and you can only earn one stripe per class. So, Kathleen decided that she wanted to go back Wednesday and Thursday to get her stripes and be ready for testing today. Jennifer and I were proud of her devotion. We told her we would drive her to taekwando every night for the rest of the week if this was what it took.

Wednesday she attended and, sure enough, earned her second stripe.

Thursday we rushed through back to school night to get her to Taekwando, and made it just in time. She secured her third stripe and walked to me with a look a look of intense pride after her class.

It was at that time that I pointed Kathleen to a sign I had noticed while she was in class. It read: “Regular classes cancelled on August 17 for belt testing.” There was no belt testing this week, it happens NEXT Friday.

Reflecting on the situation today, Kathleen pronounced: “I hate it when I try hard!!!”

I think she may be taking away the wrong lesson.

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