Four years ago, football captain Ben Hedblom—now a senior at Land O’ Lakes high school in Florida—bet his Spanish teacher, Adrian Antonini, that he would wear the same pair of shoes from then until graduation day. The loser of the bet would have to shave his hair and eyebrows.
According to the St. Petersburg Times, Hedblom has kept up with his end of the bargain. (Granted, now that the soles of his shoes are falling off, Hedblom wraps his shoes in plastic bags for puddle protection when it rains.)
Besides basing his senior graduation project off the psychology behind his shoe choice, Hedblom learned a valuable lesson about self image.
“It made me think less of what other people think of me,” he said. “And it made me approach them and talk to them. And they got to know me as a person. That goes way past the physical experience,” he said. “I’ve learned a lot about self image. You are what you believe you are.”
Antonini has since left the school—he’s currently interviewing for a baseball coaching job in Texas—but he may end up shaving his head on a webcam, according to the Times.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.