Monthly Archives: June 2011

Two Ways About It

GDR "village teacher" (a teacher tea...

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When I was in sixth grade, I learned one of the greatest lessons in life – the hard way.

Our teacher had given us a writing assignment, I forget what it was exactly, but something to the effect of writing a few examples of something we had just learned. I loved writing, even back then, and I finished the assignment very quickly, I raised my hand.

“I’m done,” I called out. My teacher smiled at me,

“Why don’t you try writing a few more examples,” she suggested. I shrugged my shoulders,

“Can’t, my brain had enough for today.” My teacher looked at me eyebrows raised,

“Why don’t you try rephrasing, and saying that a little more nicely.”  She chastised gently. She had a point, I could have said it more appropriately, she was my teacher, not my friend. I drew in a breathe and rephrased,

“I don’t think I can do it.”

Suddenly my teachers warm eyes stormed over. Her mouth started to set, and she looked at me menacingly.

“What did you say?” she asked harshly. Not understanding what brought about her abrupt change I repeated myself, “I don’t think I can.”

“Such chutzpah,” she hissed. “Please leave my class.” I was in shock, and bewildered, I didn’t get what just happened, so I just sat there, unsure.

“Leave.” She repeated harshly. Well, I was a good girl who listened to my teachers, so I left.

I stood in the hallway, right outside the door pacing in small strides. I was hurt, embarrassed, confused and scared. I couldn’t make sense of what had just occurred. I decided to hide away in the bathroom, so as to avoid even more trouble if the principal, who’s office was next door to my classroom, found me.

The bathroom smelled of grey coarse toilet paper, and syrupy pink soap. secluding myself in the corner largest stall, I flipped the toilet seat cover down, sat, and went through the entire interaction in my head, again. And again. Nothing seemed clear, to make sense, it whole thing was as nonsensical as ever.

I heard the bell ring for a ten minute recess, and a changing of the teachers, and in my stall I stayed, thinking it through, just one more time.  The time was running out, and my thoughts were running faster, confusion, indignation, elucidation, the bell in my mind rang in unison with the recess bell. I finally understood, what had been a big misunderstanding.

The rest of the day went by uneventfully, and the next day in that teacher’s class, we both pretended nothing had happened the previous day. But I never forgot, and I always remember, not the story, but the lesson.


Posted by on June 27, 2011 in Memoir


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Information Overload

Matt.Scott Thinking

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It’s a phenomena no one has ever been able to explain to me, but everyone believes it.

You know when you learn a new concept you never heard of before, then all of a sudden it keeps popping up in different areas in your life…where was it before?

Or you haven’t thought about, or heard from someone in ages, and then wham, the next few days they seem to crop up in surprising places, and you’re suddenly on overload from this person.

I can recall the first happening many times, just can’t remember any specific example other than one in 4th grade. Our teacher taught us that bon appétit meant good appetite, or enjoy your food. I was fascinated by the French words, and wanted to impress my family with my newfound sophistication. I was disappointed though because as my mother served supper that night, she said something she never did before – ingenious guess on your part in you thought she said “bon appétit”. So that was the phenomena presenting itself as a concept.

But I had the latter situation, with a person just over Shabbos and Sunday. A friend, we’ll call her Shprintzy, that I haven’t heard from or thought about in eons, came up by the Shabbos table. Or actually her brother did, apparently he’s friends with my brother in laws friend and my brother in law mentioned something that my friend’s brother did, which reminded me of my friend (hope you’re not getting too confused with the friend’s of friend’s).

Then on Sunday this friend actually called me.

And then later Sunday night, I was talking to a different friend, and she randomly asks me,

“Have you spoken to Shprintzy lately?”

Seriously, what is up?

Have you ever experienced this?


Posted by on June 21, 2011 in Musings


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