By Hyrum Phelps. Something my mom tells each of us kids as we enter junior high at Heritage Academy is this: “Remember, you will be living in a Glass House.” To everyone wondering what this means, I’ll translate.
I came to Heritage with these things. My dad is the Latin teacher for junior high. My mom is the accompanist for all the choirs and now the head of the Arts Department. My uncle is the former Arts Department chair and former instrumental director. My Grandpa Taylor is the founder and former principal. My uncle is the superintendent of Heritage Academy Inc., as well as an elected official on the town council of Gilbert. All of my parent’s siblings are eagle scouts and many are successful businessmen and engineers. My Grandpa Phelps is part of one of the oldest families in Mesa and Arizona. His older brother is known by pretty much all the old-timers of Mesa. All of this is great and all, but comes at a price. These great role models are a great example to me and well respected by many people. Now, in a junior and senior high school full of people who know my relatives, I live in a figurative “Glass House.”
If a person lived in a house completely made of glass, everything they do is public. Every action and choice is observed by people from the outside. This is true with many second-hand celebrities. President Obama’s daughters felt it, celebrity family members and close friends feel it, and I feel it, though maybe not to that extent.
Almost every first conversation I had with someone in seventh grade dealt with my family. Is Mr. Taylor your grandpa? Do you and your dad speak in Latin to each other? Does your mom make you take choir? What would Mr. Taylor do if you got a log entry? What do your parents do if you get a failing grade? Well, the answers are yes, no, no, I don’t know, and they would probably ask me what my plan is to bring it up.
Sometimes it can be annoying when people ask me if I have some “inside information” about whatever, or “what does Mr. Taylor think about the musical Hamilton?” Even though all of this can be difficult, thank you all for pushing me to realize the importance of my Glass House. It really can be motivating during times I am considering a less-than-smart option. Whether it be cheating or joining social drama, all I need to do is remember my Glass House and what it tells those outside, as well as those with me on the inside.