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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Comedy of Errors (not about the play) (08/18/11)

TITLE: Know-It-All
By Verna Cole Mitchell


My sweet Dad, now in heaven—bless his heart, was a very wise man, always willing to share his wisdom, but he was spatially challenged. You know the old saying, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”? It seems I inherited the latter two traits in abundance, though I wish I had more of his real wisdom.

I remember once when Dad was visiting, my husband was putting the parts of a ping pong table together, and Dad was showing him how he thought it should go. His directions would have made for a very strange looking object, had my husband chosen to follow them.

Now, you’d think, remembering that instance, I’d be hesitant to help my husband with projects requiring spatial knowledge. Wrong! Just ask him.

The fact that, when I got a new sewing machine, the first pair of slacks I tried to make turned into a funny looking skirt instead should give you pause in thinking I might be able to follow a pattern. Still, I’ve played director for my husband’s productions until he’s suggested more than once that I just hold the board.

My tendency to want to share my wisdom was only exacerbated when I became a teacher. I became even more of a “know-it-all” than I had been previously. After all, teachers are supposed to have all the answers.

One day, when one of my students came up to another teacher, talking to me in the hall, the teacher asked the girl how to pronounce her last name. When she pronounced her name,I immediately corrected her.I guess that since I had pronounced it incorrectly all year, I thought that I knew best.

On another occasion, when my homeroom students were examining their new yearbooks, James said, “Ma’am, you sure do take a good picture.” I preened a little because I had thought my picture in the yearbook that year was pretty good, myself. Then he showed me, in the snapshot section, a picture of him that I had taken earlier in the year. “See?” he said. Making assumptions is something else that “know-it-alls” do comfortably.

I felt like I had a pretty fair ability when it came to spelling, but one afternoon, when there was an English teacher’s meeting in my room, a fellow teacher pointed out to me quietly after the meeting that I had an incorrect word on the board. It should have been “sacrilegious” not “sacreligious.” Groan.

Then just yesterday, when my grandson sent me a note with his fiancee’s email address, I thought he had written it too hurriedly and had spelled it wrong. I checked her name on Facebook, and, wonder of wonders, he was right,

If you didn’t know it already, I’m telling you now: “know-it-alls” hate to be wrong! However, I did inherit another trait from my Dad:the ability to laugh at oneself. So go ahead and laugh about my silly mistakes, and I’ll laugh with you.

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This article has been read 533 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Colin Swann08/27/11
An amusing story, with a few good lessons of keeping your nose out! Thanks - liked it!
Sarah Elisabeth 08/28/11
Oh and ouch! Liked the one about the yearbook. I'm learning to keep my mouth shut and it's usually not long before I'm glad I did! Good writing.
C D Swanson 08/30/11
Good storyline, and good reminders to "keep quiet" at certain times! God Bless~
Noel Mitaxa 08/30/11
strong, down to earth material. It's good to laugh at ourselves; for unless we do, others will do it for us.
Linda Goergen08/31/11
It’s good to be able to laugh at our own mistakes, even better when you can use them to craft a delightful story, as you did here! Enjoyed the read!