Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: The Comedy of Errors (not about the play) (08/18/11)
By Verna Cole Mitchell
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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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