Last semester one of my former students asked me to write a recommendation letter for him to earn his Eagle Scout award. My father was an Eagle Scout and I'm a West Point graduate--I understand the significance of the Eagle Scout rank.
A few weeks ago this student brought me an invitation to the ceremony at which he'd become an Eagle Scout. I don't know how many people he invited, but the honor of being one of them was one I quickly and graciously accepted. I called and RSVP'd, put it on the calendar, and waited for the day to arrive.
Today I talked to my son about it, telling him that tomorrow we'd be getting dressed up and going to this ceremony. I told him how important it was, how he'd have to be on his best behavior, etc. You know, the normal parent spiel.
When we got home today I got out the invitation so I could pull up the location on Mapquest.com. To my horror I found that the ceremony had been today--I had written it on the wrong day on my calendar. I immediately called the student's mother and apologized profusely, explaining what had happened. I gave her my phone number and asked her to have her son call me when he got in so I could apologize to him as soon as possible.
That was over 3 hours ago. I haven't heard from him. I hope I'm making more of this than I should, but it's hard to put into words how bad I feel.
I really screwed up today.
Update, 3/7/05: I spoke to the student today and apologized. He was fine--just couldn't find my phone number to return my call. Apparently there were plenty of people at the ceremony, for which I'm thankful.
Update #2, 1/7/09: I don't know when I learned this, but sometime between then and now I learned that my dad was in fact a Life Scout, one rank below Eagle.