Bradley’s mom has told every one of her students, “Nobody is going to cheer as loud as me when you walk across that field on your graduation night.”He is the first of her 362 children. She plans to be in the stands and on Panther Field the night of May 18, 2018. Eight of her children will graduate that evening. Bradley is the first born of them. Her eyes begin to water, and she starts shaking her head. Then she says,
“Don’t make me cry.”
She hugs Bradley, and the normally very serious looking and quiet young man smiles and holds her close. Having a mom as a teacher can be described as he puts it,
“I think she student taught when I was in 2nd grade. I think it was the class beside me, right next door. I felt like I needed to be better than the rest of the them, like I needed to be more of an example because she expected more of me. I feel like that still. I feel like they would email her or go talk to her if I did anything.”
Bradley admits it. He is not a big fan of school. There are definitely things he likes about his life. He likes the outdoors, playing baseball, hunting, forestry class, and the fact he is graduating in 2018. School is like going to a job, and how he goes to school is how he also works his part-time job. For a guy with so much happening, he appears relaxed.
Having a plan can relax someone.
“I’m going to take a two-year class at MCC (Industrial Maintenance Technician). I went and toured their workforce center about three weeks ago. I’ve already applied and been accepted. I just went up there and looked at the class. My cousin took the class next door, but I felt like I wanted to learn more than just the electrical. I’ll see what it’s like whenever I get out.”
After that Bradley plans to stay close because as his mom says, “I tell him, ‘You remember what you promised me when you were a little boy. You said you would never leave me.’ Then he says, ‘That doesn’t count. I was too young. And I say, ‘Uhuh, no sir. That’s what you said.'”
Bradley smiles as she tells the story, then admits he won’t be moving too far away. He likes where he lives.
“I can see myself living in either Clarke or Lauderdale County. My girlfriend is from Lauderdale County, and she’s probably going to end up being a nurse practitioner. I don’t want to move off. I don’t like big cities. I like being outside. I like the land. All my family is here.”
Though he doesn’t plan to go far, Bradley does have advice for all of his siblings, commonly known as any student who has had or currently does have Mrs. Reeves as a teacher.
“My advice would be to take as many advanced classes as you can. How I did it when I messed up was I didn’t want to take the Advanced English III class last year. I was in a class with people who didn’t care. Surround yourself with people who care about what they are doing. You can’t expect people to give you things. You have to work for it.”