Everybody has a Story

December 5, 2015

In November, the students of The Vanguard Newspaper were surprised when we met our substitute teacher, Daniel Acuff.

More often than not students tend to ignore any substitute when they encounter them. We often see substitutes as a chance to relax and let loose in class. However, we often forget that the substitutes are real people too, who hold their own stories, and I learned that when we met Daniel Acuff

Mr Acuff has lived a life that many dream of. Throughout his life he has done a variety of things: he joined the Peace Corps, started his own company, and taught at various schools.

Acuff attended  Arizona State University, where he studied philosophy on a scholarship, he played baseball, and was good enough to play against the Dodgers in an exhibition match.  After college, he went on to serve in the Peace Corps in Columbia. When he got out of the Peace Corps, Mr. Acuff went on to teach at Temple City High School and got married. He also penned various books on a variety of subjects and has traveled the world speaking at seminars about success.

He co-wrote the book “What kids buy: The Psychology to Marketing to Kids”. This book led him to start his own consulting firm that allowed him to work and affect the look of various favorite American characters such as Spongebob, Barbie and the M&M mascots.

Then he quit his consulting because as he says  “… we [Acuff and his partner]got into a place where we realized we were working towards child obesity, …..so we quit.” Mr Acuff then went on to write another book that would this time lead to the end of his consulting career, titled “Kidnapped: How Irresponsible Marketers Are Stealing the Minds of Your Children.” Afterwards he would find it hard to find a job as a consultant. When asked about his feelings about the end of his consulting business he simply said, “…we had to write it, because it was our integrity.”

Mr. Acuff is now retired and spends his time subbing in order to pass the time. Though he may seem ordinary at first, he is a man with an incredible story that would have gone untold if we had just seen him as another substitute. So next time you have substitute teachers, try talking to them because everyone has a story.

Just share it.
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