HEAV3N Goes To School
Here is an older post from the Tesla Owners Online forum that I felt like capturing here. This was originally posted there on April 27th, 2018 at this link:
(Note: I wrote this and, while proofreading, decided to use fake names and alter images for all parties involved to respect their privacy.)
Today I had the absolute pleasure of taking part in a little show-in-tell meets surprise, meets adventure, meets just a great all-around story and I had to come here and share it as I believe you’ll all enjoy and appreciate it.
A close friend of mine is an amazing teacher at a local junior high school. Earlier this week, he sent me a message saying that a fellow (also amazing) teacher (I’ll call her Jane for the story here) had a sharp student named “John” doing a presentation on Tesla. He even sent me a couple quick photos of that actual presentation and let me know that John did a really great job.
Yesterday my friend wrote me a text asking what I was up to today, which I happen to have off and only annoying plans of cleaning the garage. “How would you like to come and surprise John by letting him see your car?” He asked. Of course I want to do that! As many of you probably feel the same, any chance to let others take a look at our cars and let us talk about them with people is an opportunity we don’t miss! Plus maybe I was wanting to procrastinate on that garage cleaning!
This morning I arrived at the junior high at 9:45 and went to the main office where I was signed in, got a visitors pass and met some staff and the principal of the school. He came out of his office saying “is this the Tesla guy?” So they were expecting me! My friend arrived shortly after that and we made the short walk down the hallway to his classroom. On the way, we met up with his coworker Jane, John’s teacher, and small talked. Jane headed to her classroom as my friend and I had to pit stop at his to ensure someone who agreed to cover his class had arrived (She had, and that was very awesome of her, I was thankful for that). When we got to Jane’s classroom, my friend and I entered to applause as if we were celebs! I wasn’t expecting that at all so I was smiling like an idiot. Also, apparently John had just found out from Jane moments before we entered that a Tesla Model 3 was coming to visit him, so the surprise was successful!!!
Before venturing outside, I fielded some questions from the youths and, wow… kids are really smart these days. They “get it” I think. I’m thinking as the youth of today grow up and start purchasing vehicles, there’s really going to be less and less ICE vehicles chosen. Especially with people like John doing presentations at their schools. I really enjoyed the chance to talk to them and share what I could, though I was hoping I wouldn’t come across as some “boring old guy” so I was trying to keep my answers short and quick.
After a short time we ventured outside and I went to the guest parking lot and got in my Model 3 and pulled it up to where the youth were all excitedly waiting. As I pulled up, HEAV3N was greeted to every positive exclamation you can imagine! I just stepped back with the doors, trunk and frunk open and let them look around. I did ask in advance that it be a “look but don’t touch” experience as I just didn’t want lots of people in and out of my car. They were very understanding of that, and I was very appreciative of their respect and kindness. I think they still got a good experience by walking around and looking at everything. There was some picture taking, including a class photo, with lots of thumbs up and smiles.
Next my friend and I dropped another surprise on John and told him to get in the car. We were taking him for a ride! After first letting him sit in the driver’s seat, and Jane grabbing some photos of that, we loaded in with my teacher friend in the back seat and John riding shotgun. We drove in town a bit and John asked extremely intelligent questions about the car and Tesla in general. I was impressed, and also hopeful that my answers squelched any of the F.U.D. (Fear. Uncertainty. Doubt) he might possibly have that we all know spreads rampantly. Though with him giving a presentation on Tesla, I think it’s safe to say he already is a fan and knows his stuff! He could probably teach me a thing or two! We reached the nearby interstate and I stepped on the pedal enough to show John what a Model 3 can do, getting to the speed limit and then letting up. I was very conscious that I had someone else’s child in my car so I was being overly cautious. We engaged autopilot for a portion of the highway drive so he could see that as well, though we were only on the highway from one entrance to the next exit and then headed back to the school. As we made our return, we cranked the sound system just so that we looked cool pulling up next to his classmates. I think we were successful, but maybe that’s just wishful thinking on my part!
As I prepared to leave, there was an outpouring of thanks that was heartwarming, though it was truly my pleasure to make the visit and I had a great time. I really enjoyed myself and hope that everyone else did as well. I know that John did as he shook my hand and thanked me, and my friend has since text me saying that this was “an authentic learning experience. He will NEVER forget that.” Which I agree with and it makes me happy I was a part of it. My friend also sent me the actual presentation by John, which I have since watched and thoroughly enjoyed!!! There was one reference though I wasn’t too fond of, he mentions that the “older generations” won’t be the ones that mostly buy electric; it will be theirs. Hey now!!! I’m not THAT old!!! Oh, crud…I am actually. And he's right.
I’ll end on this note. If anyone that took part in today’s experience and contributed to making this happen ends up reading my post, I truly thank you for the time and experience. It was awesome, and the pleasure was all mine.
Update from June 14th, 2018:
Going to bump this thread with an unexpected update that caught me off guard and totally made my day. My whole weekend actually.
I was sitting at home in the afternoon last weekend when the doorbell rang. I looked through the glass portion of the door and saw a gentlemen standing with his daughter. I wasn't expecting anyone so my first thought was either a neighbor bringing me mail delivered to the wrong house or perhaps a dad/daughter team fundraising for school.
I couldn't have been more wrong, and more surprised.
I ended up meeting the father of the young man ("John") in my original post! He had contacted my friend (the teacher) and then tracked me down so that he could personally say thank you and deliver a thank you card from John! It even has a gift card to a local restaurant I enjoy very much. Definitely planning to use that soon! I was, and am, totally amazed by their kindness and appreciation. I wasn't expecting anything at all, nor was anything necessary as I really enjoyed taking my car to the school for show and tell!
So John's dad and I talked about the Model 3 a bit, I took him to the garage to show it to him (honestly I think I just love showing it off, haha) and I got to learn more about John and how great a student and athlete he is. I could tell he makes his dad very proud! It makes it feel even better that taking my Model 3 to the school was more than just a visit... it was also like a "reward" for his excellent school work. John's dad mentioned, and I couldn't agree with him more, that it really is a great (possibly the best) way to learn... to have that immersion... to have that experience. It's one thing to learn by doing research to write a report about Tesla, and that's definitely good on its own. But there isn't anything like "hands on" and being able to actually see and ride in a Tesla!
Just wanted to share this. A small act of kindness, if you will, by myself has lead to a bigger act of kindness by John and his father to seek me out, thank me and give a gift card. It's truly heart warming.