The first time I ever saw Kevin was when he was roughing up a 9th grader trying to extract money the younger had placed on a bet. It didn't help the presumption I'd made about Kevin, a junior, much earlier in the school year. There are some kids I would just take an instant disliking to, God forgive me. This didn't happen very often, but it did occur and I'd have to fight to swallow these prejudices all school year, sometimes successfully, and others not so much. I'd have additional dealings with Kevin in the two years until he graduated, none of them very positive.
Twenty years later, Kevin walked into the school where I was still teaching. This time he voluntarily sought me out. " Ms. A, Do you remember the first time we met?" he asked. "I sure do!" I said smiling at the two little girls standing behind him. He introduced me to his daughters. He was so proud and so sweet with them. "I was an idiot," he said. "No, you were a teenager. Mistakes were in your job description." And tolerance was in mine, I thought to myself.