, Research Paper
Prologue Well, I m finally home to say the least, and what s a better thing to do than share the tale of my travels to those who are eager to hear it. Many thought me to be crazy, leaving my life of luxury behind to travel across the country. I didn t know what I thought. I still wonder now and then if it was right to have sold my business, but considering that I now have little stress in my life and enough money to suffice, I think I made the right choice. The air was cool the morning I left and my khaki shorts and tee shirt left me a bit chilled, but I knew upper 80 s were expected later that day. Though excited enough to leave before dawn, I soon found my Lexus Coupe to be quite uncomfortable. The truth is I was miserable after the first 8 hours and decided from then on five or six hours of travel a day would do. I was just happy to be on the road; free as a bird. Lonely is the word I would use to describe myself on the twelfth day of my travel. I guess I was a little more than happy when I saw the scruffy looking man walking along side the ferociously busy highway, his arm outstretched and thumb held high. To me he wasn t a hitchhiker– he was a companion. Graciously greeting me with a pearly white smile, this man introduced himself as Mike Webber and tossed what little he had into the back seat. His odor was anything but pleasant, and his greasy hair and unshaven face suggested that he had been wandering for some time. I didn t ask Mike many questions at first, I was just satisfied to have a companion, and he was too. Now we both had someone to talk to. I found it much easier to drive with a companion; I ended up dropping Mike off somewhere near Darby, Montana early the next morning after driving all night. Prologue to the Homeless Man s Tale(By Tom): Homeless Man: I really do thank you a lot for giving me a ride. I would have been on the road for at least two more weeks if you hadn t picked me up. Host: Where exactly are you going? Homeless Man: I m not really sure yet. I figure I ll end up living somewhere in the Montana-probably camp out in the woods. I m sure I can survive there for a while. Then maybe I ll move back to Colorado Springs. Host: Why d you leave Colorado in the first place? Homeless Man: Oh I m didn t just come from Colorado now, I grew up there. I was living St. Louis for the past twelve years until the divorce papers finally went through a month ago. My wife threw me out almost a year ago for reason s I d rather not get into right now Host: That s fine. Homeless Man: It wasn t my fault, but whatever. The court case finally ended just before I left. In fact, that was the main reason I left-the court gave her all the money. But enough about my troubles, they re behind me now anyways. Why don t I tell you a little story? The Homeless Man s Tale: Once there was a young man of about seventeen living in an average size town in Michigan. He was a Christian boy and had grown up in a good Christian home with one younger brother. His dream was to be a teacher-he had always wanted to show kids the world through what he had learned. He went to college and got a teaching degree and a wife in the process. He found a job teaching fourth graders at an elementary school in an average size town like he had grown up in-just as he had imagined he would. He and his wife had a couple kids; taught them to be kind, say please and thank you, and look adults in the eyes when talking to them. He had the perfect life; everything was how he had imagined it when he was that boy in Michigan. At the age of thirty-two his eldest daughter was killed in a bus accident on a field trip to a museum. The Christmas after that his only boy died of cancer. In one short year this man and his wife had lost two of their three beloved children. Their remaining daughter graduated from high school with highest honors-he and his wife couldn t have been prouder. Off to college she went to pursue her love of music. After two years of college she met a young man who convinced her to drop out of college and join a cult know as The Garbage-Eaters . She wasn t allowed to have any contact with her parents or have anything of her own. For a while she resisted this and secretly called her parents, telling them classes were fine and she had plenty of money. However, she eventually sent her parents a letter explaining to them what really had happened and telling them she would never contact them again.
This broke the man s heart and drove his wife to nearly take her own life. The couple couldn t handle this turn of events and split up soon after learning of their daughter s new life. The sight of each other became so painful in the last days before the split up that they simply avoided each other. In their hearts they knew they weren t at fault, but that didn t matter-the pain was too great. From having the perfect life and marriage this man soon turned to liquor to relieve his anguish and was arrested for more than one bar fight. The woman had a nervous breakdown not a month after divorcing and spent four months in an asylum and the rest of her life in therapy. She never did get over the trauma of losing two children in less than a year and the loss of her last child just put her over the edge. Prologue: (continued) It was day 24 when I cruised past the stalled Chrysler, hood ajar, and not 4 minutes from then I saw a decked out businessman strolling down the shoulder. He was not flaunting an outstretched thumb but I figured he wouldn t mind a lift, so I stopped. With a quick Thanks and a glance, he whipped out his cell phone and tried to make a call for, as he stated, the millionth time . I have never heard a man curse at a cell phone before. He bore the odor of expensive cologne mixed with sweat and topped off with a hint of mint from his gum. He was decked out in a jet-black suit with an opened collared white shirt underneath. I noticed a missing button on one of his cuffs and concluded he was just too busy to sew another one on. He turned his clean-shaven face to me, one which I never saw smile, and introduced himself as Scott Truben. Please to meet you Scott. But was I? Needless to say I did not find Scott to be the most pleasant company, but one thing kept sticking out as I talked to this man-he hated to fail. Whether it was his cell phone not working or car braking down, Scott hated when things failed to go as planned; he liked to succeed. Prologue to the Businessman s Tale(By Joe):Businessman: Perseverance is a key virtue of life, that s what I say. People who don t persevere and work towards set goals will find themselves nowhere. Businessman s Tale: The day after Matt Schneider s twenty-first birthday, he learned being on your own can be hell. His hangover was on the down and out as he sat in classes taking his final exam for the quarter. It was the last of his barrage of classes and when he got home from class at 2:30 he was content, and into bed he went. It wasn t a big deal that he slept through football practice. Monday s were special teams practices anyway; star running backs need not be there. So, he picked a movie out, popped in a pizza, and prepared himself for a short night of college activities. It was exactly 9:35 the next morning when the phone rang. It was Matt s academic councilor informing him that they needed to meet at 10 to discuss some issues. Matt thought nothing of it as he headed out his dorm. The news Matt received that morning was anything but pleasant. Because of lower than mandatory grades, Matt was kicked off the football team, and was required to drop his classes to a basic level. Matt was devastated. Playing football was Matt s dream, and until he brought his grades up he was done. Matt thought about quitting; it would have been the easy way out. Many times he would storm out of his dorm promising never to return but come an hour he d be back. The truth is Matt loved football, and it didn t matter if he had to study seven hours a night, he was going to get his grades up and rejoin the team.It was exactly four weeks after his discharge that Matt finally had the chance to retake the entrance exam. As he walked into room 301, he thought about all the hours put into the books, the endless reading, and all the help along with support he got from his friends. This was it; Matt was now going to prove that he could do anything if he put some time and effort into it. That fall, Matt s football team won the state title. Their starting running back: Matt Schneider. Perseverance is a key virtue in life, that s what I say. People who don t persevere and work towards set goals will find themselves nowhere. Prologue (continued): I didn t come across any more hitchhikers along my way,And when I got home, I was there to stay.