100 Most Influential People By Tyler Nishikawa

22 Oct , 2014  


When I was in my freshman year of high school I had a hard time balancing work and play. During middle school everything came so easily to me in school that when I got to high school I assumed that it would be just as easy, I was seriously wrong. Not only was the work harder there was more of it, this partnered with wanting to hang out with friends ultimately led to my grade point average dropping to an all time low.

At the end of my first semester I realized that I was failing most of my classes and there would be no way to completely reverse it. So I did what any other thirteen year old would do, complained to all my teachers and gave up. I spent a long time just not caring about anything school related, most of the time I didn’t even show up to class. When I did show up to class I would talk back to my teachers and dip out before we were released out of boredom. None of my teachers ever talked to me about my behavior, I didn’t think that any of them cared enough to waste their time on me. But one day my chemistry teacher told me to stay after class, not surprising cause it happened all the time. What happened next was what I refer to as the defining moment of my entire educational career.

My teacher, we’ll call him Mr. Simpson, waited till everyone else left the room and looked me straight in the face and said,” Tyler, why are you such an idiot?”. I was completely shocked, I’ve never been called an idiot or unintelligent in any way before in my life and here was my teacher calling me an idiot. I told him that he was the idiot and asked him why he would say that to me. He told me that I was one of the most intelligent kids he’d ever met, but it was wasted on an idiot like me. At this point I walked out of the room. I was fuming, how could he say that to me? What gives him the right to act like he knows me? Am I really an idiot? I was considering just leaving school and never coming back.

While I was sitting on the bus on my way home I vowed to myself that I would never let someone call me unintelligent again, that I would become successful and never put my education on the backburner. Most importantly I vowed to show that old man who the real idiot was. Three years later I graduated with a 3.9 grade point average (ok I’m not perfect) and on the last day of classes I took my transcript into Mr. Simpsons office and left it on his desk. I never heard from him again but I can only imagine that he looked it over and immediately felt the table turned on his idiot face. Well that probably didn’t really happen but that’s how it happened in my story.

Now that I am older and wiser I know why he held me back that day and called me an idiot. I needed that little push to get my head back in the game. Mr. Simpson influenced me to try harder in school and try to make something out of my life. Of course in my days I have met a handful of influential people, but I will never forget the day somebody changed my life by insulting me first grader style.

I hope everybody has been influenced to better themselves in some way or another. Maybe it’s somebody close to home like a parent or teacher. Maybe it’s somebody that you’ve never met like Jesus or Barack Obama. Maybe somebody has influenced you and you didn’t even know it. None the less, we can all be a positive influence in somebody else’s life. Think about that the next time you call somebody and idiot.

Time Magazine recently released their list of the top one hundred most influential people, if you guys want to check it out click this link:




[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’][/author_image] [author_info]Tyler Nishikawa[/author_info] [/author]


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