The other day I mentally took inventory of the most important people in my life. Strangely enough, Ben & Jerry did not quite make the short list. They were close, but had to be cut in order to make room for all the Glens and Bens in my whisky cabinet.
Some of these folks would be surprised to know that they’re on my list—like Leonard, the weary technician who repeatedly shows up at the door to fix my defunct internet service.
Or Jimmy, the eighty eight-year old Baptist preacher who sits on a bench outside my tiny, local gas station, intent upon connecting with his flock or passing strays with nothing more than a broad, toothless grin and an embracing hello. And then there’s the sourpuss-faced librarian who I greet two or three times a week. I am determined to see her smile at least once before I die, and I’m guessing the only way that will happen is if I purchase her a pair of shoes that are two sizes larger than the ones she’s currently wearing.
The interesting thing I discovered while thumbing through the short list was that nearly everyone on it was a teacher.
The teachers I have had could be divided even further into subcategories: the good, the bad, and the under investigation. It has been said that kids cannot learn from teachers they don’t like—that one would realize a far better outcome for a student if they highlighted the three correctly answered quiz questions out of twenty rather than stapling a fast food restaurant application to the top page.
If I were to take a hard, calculating look around and behind me, from the present moment back to my first flash of sentient thought, I bet I could easily say that I have spent most of my life swimming in a pool of teachers. In fact, I believe we could all say that, because we have lessons to learn from every person we interact with—if you look deeply enough.
The lessons are constant and subtle, or intermittently gargantuan, but they are present whether we recognize them or not, and ride in on the coattails of folks we might never have considered to be those in charge of our lives’ direction.
My yoga teacher, whose classes I’ve attended twice a week for the last decade, has become my personal Jiminy Cricket—her voice, a constant presence of gentle encouragement and sage advice. Because of her, I listen to the obvious: what my body can and cannot do, what my body should and should not do, and also the blatant reminder that yoga is not a competitive sport.
One Hollywood music producer brought into sharp focus two things I would never forget: 1) I am quite agile at dashing around furniture in order to stay away from groping hands, and 2) a well-placed kick can do wonders for sending the message Back off, Buddy, but sucks for career advancement.
The small bewhiskered feline I have been placed in charge of enlightens me daily with the knowledge that sitting still does not necessarily equate with being still, and that the magic of sensory perception will blossom if you practice distilling life down to the minute and overlooked. She has also illuminated the fact that my reflexes suck, and that unless I am approaching her with food, I had best do a one eighty and rethink the value of ungrazed flesh.
I have had music instructors who have encouraged me, following a performance, with their assessment that I played all of the notes and some even in the right places, and others who have sat back laughing, and then after wiping away the tears in their eyes said, “Okay, play it for real now.”
I have had teachers who unintentionally cut me to the quick with nothing more than their desire to help. Like the time I received a graded English assignment, still wet with its shellacking of red ink, and a note at the top that said, SEE ME, which I interpreted to be a disapproving nod toward my undeserved confidence with the previous day’s lesson. Consequently, I slunk into the background and never really internalized the rule of It’s I before E except after C …
I have even learned some of life’s greatest lessons from the string attached to my tea bags, where dangling from the end is a tiny truism worth remembering:
Experience is a comb which nature gives us when we are bald.
You cannot get to the top by sitting on your bottom.
The problem with the gene pool is there’s no lifeguard.
We’re all in need of instruction. And finding a good coach to guide you through life is a gift we may not recognize we possessed until after we’ve had our ‘aha’ moment.
Our teachers are there to build up our skills, to broaden our mindset, and to prepare us for the future as it unfolds before us. On the flipside, the old definition is also true: a teacher is simply a person who helps you solve problems you’d never have without them.
But for now, I shall leave you with my favorite life lesson from my pilot instructor of long ago. He quoted Douglas Adams, and said the words applied to nearly everything: Flying is learning how to throw yourself to the ground—and miss.
Now edge on out there to the end of the branch, safe with a parachute holding all your life’s lessons, and leap.
Don’t forget to check out what we’re cookin’ in the Scullery and what we all talked about down in the pub. Plus, you can see more of Robin Gott‘s humor–all from the only pen carved from a human funny bone.
- It Takes a Mentor (http://www.nytimes.com)
- Building Better Teachers (http://www.theatlantic.com)
- How to Be a Great Mentor (http://forbes.com)
93 thoughts on “I’ve Learned My Lesson”
*”…the magic of sensory perception will blossom if you practice distilling life down to the minute and overlooked.” Touche’
*”We’re all in need of instruction. And finding a good coach to guide you through life is a gift we may not recognize we possessed until after we’ve had our ‘aha’ moment.”
Once again your way with words has enriched my life, given me what to think about, and taught me something. You, yourself, are one amazing teacher!
Good heavens, Tana, what a beautiful compliment. I’m truly touched, and full of gratitude that this post resonated like it did. My humble thanks. 😉
Love that Douglas Adams quote and how appropriate to hear that sage piece of advice from a flying instructor! Those words really do apply to so much of life, thanks for the reminder. That bagpipe illustration would delight my ‘bagpipe playing whisky enjoying’ father to bits.
I’m so drawn to Adams’ humor, and wonky perspective on life. Dress him in a flowing robe of saffron and I’d have followed him nearly everywhere.
And did you notice the last shelf of Scotsmen? Rob tucked in a few fellas that are fairly well-known.
Cheers to our little Cheergerm!
What a truly interesting post. In the beginning I thought you were speaking of school teachers. I instantly thought of my school teachers,and I couldn’t think of many at all. Then you cast your net in a wider circle and I realized I had too narrow of a definition. I think it is wonderful that you have come across such people. I also think it’s great that you can see a learning experience in so many contacts. If life has a script the author isn’t telling. So it is hard sometimes to ascertain where the punchline is. I love the remark about the gene pool. Once again a good and proper rinse of the mind.
Ah, the punchline. Sometimes, Benson, I think the punchline doesn’t come until we’ve shuffled off this mortal coil and are looking back upon ourselves with an omniscient being pointing out the set up. I’m hoping at that moment I will be laughing hysterically at the irony and then maybe a little gentle with judgement. Time will tell. Until then, I search for the teachers, as I’m a firm believer that whatever strife I bump or barrel into is a message from the universe that this is still one lesson I’ve yet to learn. At times it keeps me from leaping off the nearest cliff (without that parachute).
As always, I truly appreciate your words and thoughts, and I believe they not only add a bright spot to this community of commentators, but makes my days as well.
Thanks for being here, Benson.
I was right in the middle of,what I thought was a succinct and apt reply when all of a sudden it disappeared. Well, as I was saying.
You are the one who sets up the construct, the premise. It is always well constructed, and informative. So it’s easy to seem clever when following the format. You are always both entertaining and informative. As for the punchline. Is it really that important. I know many a time I’ve sought a punchline. An answer to what is running around me. Maybe we make our own and don’t even realize it. Maybe that is what is revealed to us after we die. The punchline that we were too silly to see.
Woman you are making me think way too early in the morning. That is the grand thing about you. Thanks.
“You cannot get to the top by sitting on your bottom.”
Point taken. Without a doubt there have been many examples.
I shall stop drinking that particular teabag. Shallow brew, indeed.
I like quotes that inspire rather than motivate. Instead of admonishing and shaming anyone for where they are or where they’ve been, fill their eyes and minds with the possibility of where they could be going.
Eyes on the prize, baby. (gulps coffee in front of a computer screen on a Sunday like a hypocrite)
Any landing you can remember is a good one. I flew sailplanes and “landed out” in what appeared to be an empty pasture (never land in a pasture with only one cow, cause that’s not a cow, it’s a bull). Set up, downwind, base and final calling down to the ground crew my location, no problem. Touchdown and then roll and BAM, hit a “bull hole” a two foot deep wallow in the Florida sand. Thought my back and my glider were busted. I sat there stunned but after a bit I finally got enough courage up to unbuckle and climb out to look at the damage. Not a scratch on the plane and the back was only sore for a few days. See, a landing I remember.
I love it, Mike. Yeah, I think I remember my instructor saying that any landing where you can reuse the aircraft is considered a giant success. Boy, did that take the pressure off.
My landing music, coming in for finals was always me, singing at the top of my lungs, the theme music from Raiders of the Lost Ark. I really needed that courageous film score blaring in the cockpit.
I’ve never done any gliding, but I’d give my left lung to try it one day. There’s this idea of silence I can’t quite imagine. One day.
Cheers, Captain Fuller.
It’s not as quiet as you may think. At least not in the 1-26 I used to fly. I hear the glass and carbon fiber birds are tighter with less wind noise to roar in. But still quieter than a Cessna 172 (my only power flights). It’s all good though, I use the experience in my novels and though I don’t fly anymore my characters enjoy it for me.
This string of comments does not give me a warm and fuzzy feeling. My son got his pilot’s licence a few years ago and I’ve been on pins and needles ever since!
You are so right about the right teacher. They can make or break new subject material 🙂
And the right teacher, Joanne, knows exactly when to hand over a plane to a competently trained young pilot. Have faith. And congratulations to your son for a brilliant and masterful accomplishment. You must be really proud of him!
Thanks – I AM very proud 🙂
My high school biology teacher and coolest woman I have ever met said that “Just like the leopard we should grow, mature but don’t change, never change our spots”. I lost myself and forgot who I was as a person a little while ago after my miscarrage and went through an incredible journey to find that girl that used to dance in the rain and laugh uncontrollably again. What she said to me helped me get there again, we may all be flawed but we are all perfect in our own way.
Woah, that is alot of emotion right there! Here is a fun fact to lighten the mood: snails poop is the same colour as whatever they were eating… and baby sloths sometimes fall out of trees because they grab their arm thinking it is a branch. Xx
Oh, Kerri, I can’t stop laughing. And I seriously want to stop so I can address the melancholy portion of your comment, so, big breath …
My condolences on that mournful time of your life. Losing a child is an experience that reduces you to the core of your genetic makeup. It is life condensed and clarified to its very essence. I’m glad to hear that you made it to the other side again and met yourself on the shoreline. That takes time, and courage, and a lot of strength. And that girl who laughs and dances in the rain is someone I think we all need to be in order to truly taste life. I hope you’re able to keep your biology teacher’s words close to your heart for as long as possible.
And about that baby sloth, I am planning on carrying that tidbit around with me all week long. That is purely an instant whoop of laughter.
Thank you for taking the time to write those beautiful words… feeling warm and fuzzy inside 🙂 have a great week!
My teachers in senior school were mostly aged spinsters, and one in particular was a real stickler and put the fear of God into anyone who crossed her path, let alone crossed her.
I discovered she had a sense of humour when she mentioned her brooch to the class, a beautiful pin, intricate in its detail. We were invited to have a closer look, and the damn thing moved! It was a stick insect, and so our lesson began of how wonderful Nature’s camouflage could be. I saw her in a totally different light after that.
Holy cow, that’s a brilliant memory. Discovering the hidden facets about people we usually only see in one particular light is enriching and informative. But more than anything, I think it’s humanizing. We get used to a routine of seeing them through one lens and in the same focus. How lucky for all of you that she gave you that little gift of peeking into a side of her that was mostly a door kept shut. Brave woman to wear a bug as a bauble. 😛
She was our biology teacher and had a thing for insects. My Dad found a huge moth in the attic (about 3 inches across), so I took it into school to show her. She was practically orgasmic in her enthusiasm, especially as it had laid eggs on the cotton wool in the box.
I wonder if you understand the value of what you write to those of us on the reading end. Your words bring to life thoughts in such a way that we are brought to really think through our own. You brought me a smile at a time that is proving challenging to do that quite literally actually. Anyway- thank you for the inspiration to contemplate questions that I haven’t thought of in some time. Fly high!!
Bettemae, your words have done just that. Catapulted me right through the stratosphere. What a thank you note. This one is going on the fridge.
Regardless, I’m so happy to have been able to lift the edges of your mouth, even if just for a few moments. I think that’s how we can best serve one another: a helping hand, a word of encouragement, and occasionally a good ole fashion belly laugh. That’s what I’m shooting for. So glad I made a difference today.
Cheers, Bettemae. Here’s to brighter days.
An excellent perspective to be sure……in reading this, I began to think of all the ‘teachers’ I’ve gained right here on WP……certainly, I’ve been drawn into subjects on here that have broadened my horizons in ways I never would’ve ventured into on my own.
I did threee years training as an Alexander teacher. My teacher, Joseph Artzi, was something like a kung fu master – a man of few words, with incredible focus and integrity. I remember one day one of his old students came back to visit the school. She was given a warm welcome by Joseph and intoduced to us as one of Joseph’s brightest ex students. On hearing all the praise, the poor woman blushed and hung her head in shame. “I’m sorry, Joseph”, she said, “it’s lovely of you to say all these things,but the truth is I’ve forgotten EVERYTHING you taught me!”.
Joseph laughed. “Good!” he said, “Then maybe you learnt something!”
That epitomizes for me a brilliant teacher 🙂
Bingo, Torrie! This community of like-minded folks is an ever evolving, continually challenging cluster of people who have so much to say and share. And through their posts and comments we are called to moments of deep thought and scholarship. And occasionally we are just allowed to laugh at ourselves. I’m so glad you’re part of my WP family. You’re a wonderfully worthy member!
Such a vivid set of characters you drew in those first paragraphs, I pictured you living in Hooterville or Pixley 🙂 What I discovered with my teachers was that some were great and some were not, but that all had something of value to share. Except for that one guy who thought he was living in Hotterville…
It’s true, Linnet. I do live in Hooterville, but I have come to love those Hooters with all my heart. There’s been an awful lot of inbreeding with farm animals here, but I’ve always been drawn to the care and maintenance of livestock. 😛
I also imagine, that you have done your fair share of positively influencing scores of students and molding who they are becoming. That is a heady position to hold. And one I’d reckon you don’t take lightly. Lucky kids.
Yes, I love my Hooters too. Whoops, that may have come out wrong.
We teachers are not saints, but on the other hand, we didn’t go into this for the money 🙂
“There are two kinds of teachers: the kind that fill you with so much quail shot that you can’t move, and the kind that just gives you a little prod behind and you jump to the skies.”
― Robert Frost
My parents were and still are my best teachers, and for that, I am truly grateful. (Sad that it took me so long to figure that one out). For my children, I rely on their school teachers to “teach” them to learn; yet I feel the responsibility to help them learn about daily life and all its wonderment, possibilities and chance is up to me, as a parent. If a parent is not involved, a child can and most likely will become misguided. It took me a while to figure that out, yet thanks to mine, I have been given that simple reminder to “be more involved in their lives than mine.” I thank my parents for that gift.
Shelley, another great article, thank you.
P.s. You should see the sun rise peer its rays through the snow clouds over the bay this morning. Not even Michelangelo could paint this view.
Yep, buddy, some of us truly luck out with the old parental units, and others have to deal with the hand they are dealt. But you’re right–it doesn’t mean that we can strive for anything less than our best for our own children. I do think it’s important to mess with them a little bit though. If our kids can’t wrestle with a few caregiver conundrums then we’ve likely done them a disservice. It’s skill building. And problem solving. And absurdly amusing to see them label us as dense and doltish only to be amazed at how much intelligence we gain as they grow up.
So happy to hear the sun is making an appearance for you. The spring thaw is a long, long way off.
I sometimes personally think that I’m a victim of the gene pool (I think we all had such moments) and that it’s more often a ‘gene quicksand’ than not. But this line: ‘The problem with the gene pool is there’s no lifeguard.’ It really got me. Thanks so much for a really encouraging post! 🙂
A gene quicksand–now there’s a vision.
And I think about that aspect of life a lot as well. I think about my genetic limitations–whether they are intellectual or physical–and I’m always hungering for more than what’s available to me. I suppose I should be happy that my “want” is a motivating feature, as the concept of “want” has a way of propelling us forward toward goals we are desperate to achieve, may believe are way out of our wheelhouse of comfort, but might one day realize. That’s what I’m going for in life. Defying the odds. And proving science wrong.
Thanks for the great comments!
The older I get, the clearer it becomes. Learning opportunities are everywhere; it’s up to me to take notice.
Having a third eye would prove so helpful, don’t you think, Nancy? Sometimes I find myself seeing things more along the lines of a cyclops. Ugh. Workin’ on that one.
“When the student is ready, the teacher arrives”. Great piece, Shelley. Teachers are everywhere when we choose to hear 🙂
Thanks, Cindy. I so agree. It seems every time I open my front door, all those teachers are gathered en masse and waiting patiently for me not to wave at them while I dash to my car.
When you realize that there is always something you need to learn, you find teachers everywhere…and what a gift that is. From my gently encouraging Grade 2 teacher to my paradigm-shifting Grade 10 history teacher to my current friends who provide wisdom when I need it, I am always thankful for how they have guided me on my way. And hooray to Douglas Adams…what a wonderful thing to have his words available to us. 🙂 Thanks for a thought-provoking post, Shelley!
And the bonus, Sue, is that most of these lessons are totally free!
Yes, we are the lucky ones who see the teachers and invite them in to chew the fat. It sounds as if your life has a plethora of the wise and wonderful. You are fortunate, indeed.
And as far as Mr. Adams, I think we need a day devoted to quoting only him. One brilliant bit after another. I’d likely spend most of it doubled over with laughter. Not a bad way to spend a day. 😛
I love your life lesson. Absolutely marvelous!
I don’t think I’ve ever had a long list of people I think are important to me. In fact, my list keeps on getting shorter and shorter. Am I too picky? Maybe.
Perhaps your tastes are simply discerning and distinguished. Nothing wrong with a little focus, Glynis. I cast a wide net and figure I’ll be grateful if I pull up something more interesting than a saturated lump of wood.
Thanks a million for your gracious compliments. 🙂
Your illustrations so funnily complement your writing! It’s a joy reading your blog. The lessons life teaches us, are the most valuable ones.
I’m so glad you like the cartoons. They are the brainchild–brainchildren(?) of Robin Gott. And Robin has a brilliant way of illuminating a perspective of my words that takes care of all abdominal exercises for the day. I laugh a lot with his interpretations.
Many thanks for taking the time to read and see what we’re churning out each week. Cheers!
That was beautiful! And I’m honored (I think!) to have been included! Wow! Didn’t realize how long it’s been! From a teacher’s perspective, it may be that we learn more from our students! I know that a huge part of what I value in my life is whatever connections I have with my students and all I’ve learned from them over the years — it’s an interactive process. Not to discount the many good teachers who surfaced in my brain as I was reading this, but to me, it’s my students who are my teachers now! So I guess you’d have to be on my list too!
Thank you for your faithful blog! It’s always a highlight of my week end!
Yes, Rhea, tis YOU! How could I two-time your class? All others are merely knock-offs. And I’ve been fair, I’ve given a handful of others a shot. But you place the bar unreachably high.
And I’d agree that there seems to be this place where we find a commingling of teaching and learning. I find I’ve learned probably more lessons from my kids than those I have taught them. In particular, I’ve learned where my soft underbelly lies. They’ll get a taste of that too one day. I’m all about karma having a good sense of humor.
And thank you for faithfully reading the blog. I’m so glad we make a difference in your week. What a heartwarming thing to hear. 😀
A beautiful piece of writing, Shelley. It’s a weekly treat to stop by and you never disappoint. Your piece evoked Temple Grandin whose book, Thinking in Pictures describes her unique thought process. She thinks of words as a second language. All this is to say that when I read this piece, your words had me thinking in picture. I imagined all the teachers thrown in your path, and the teachers who’ve crossed mine. You’re the latest on my list.
A huge thank you for your scrumptious comments, Alys. Your warm words nearly discard the need for my hard liquor cabinet contents.
And I love hearing Temple Gradin’s words. She is a dynamite communicator, and one tough nut. I’m going to guess that you’ve already heard her TED talk, right? That was worthy.
I’m so glad you’ve had a chance to walk down memory lane with the teacher essay, and equally as happy that you found me somewhere on the trail. That was a bonus to hear. Right back atcha, Alys.
Thank you, Shelley. I don’t know if I’ve heard the TED talk. I’ll have to find it on Google. I’ve heard her interviewed more than once on NPR and I’ve read parts of her book, too. She’s remarkable and so are you.
Brilliant pictures, Rob!
Thankyou very much 🙂
seriously, it’s ALWAYS a chuckle, Rob !
Very enjoyable read! Got me thinking about the people in my life a little differently and, as usual, great drawings! Especially all those guys in the kilts in your liquor cabinet! Got a big smile on my face over the comb quote. How true!
If only there truly were men in kilts in my liquor cabinet … *sigh*
I’m glad you liked the post, Jan. Every once in a while it’s good to get in the reflective mood and see what spills across the page. Much of it dribbles down into the oval file, but there are the occasional salvageable bits. 😛
Thank you for a wonderful post. You never know from whom you can learn something. We are a product of all our experiences and should never take any of them for granted. All are valuable in their own way.
I’m right behind you, Lori. I’ve probably learned just as much from a Starbucks barista as I have from most of my college profs. Surely anyone who knows how to make a peppermint mocha latte has got to possess the secrets of the universe. At least all the important ones, right? 😛
Lovely piece as always Shelley. Big teachers for me have been my animals and my younger brother – he had learning difficulties and remained a happy, delightful ‘4 year old’ throughout his life – I learned a great deal about people from the way others treated him – back a few years in less enlightened times – but I also learnt from his joyful simplicity that keeping something of the child alive in you is a good way to approach life!
That is a resplendent set of thoughts, Jane. Wholly illuminating to the idea of how we learn and from whom. There’s always so much to admire about you–your class and perspective on life nears the top of the list. Thank you for sharing this.
You are far too kind Shelley because in reality I am a rather world weary cynic but I also like to be contrary so I’m an ever happy and optimistic one 😀
You and Rob have both outdone yourselves this week! I’m still sifting through the Glens and Bens to see if I recognise anyone. I hadn’t thought of everyone being teachers before, although now you say it it seems so obvious that I’m kicking myself, especially as I always try to see bad experiences as ‘learning opportunities’. Well, I hate to see anything go to waste, so it’s what I do when the dust settles and I’ve finished licking my wounds.
I punched the air and shouted ‘yes’ (in my head at least) at that Douglas Adams quote. Such a brilliant way to wrap things up and shows you (and your flying instructor) have impeccable taste. 🙂
A heartfelt thank you, Laura, for all your kind words. One of the things I love most about reading other people’s writing? It’s the fact that we continue to discover things we may already know, but now see to some extent differently simply because of context. I’m all about layering. (And boy, do I need a lot of it.)
And the bottom three Glens and Bens are indeed real life Scots. Let me know if you figure them out!
So happy to know another Adams fan. He is my humor god. 🙂
uh, Ben Harper and Ian Anderson? Sean Connery?
One for three, buddy. You nailed the man with the golden gun. #2 is a comedian/actor and #3 think raspy voice (or a guy who gargles with gravel)
rod stewart ???
We’ve got a winner, folks.
YOU gave it away: with that “gargles w/gravel” — heh!
I’m may be going out on a limb here, but I’ll bet Mr. Stewart would not appreciate my interpretation of his vocal skills.
Ah well, we can’t all be Sinatra now, can we?
1st uvvawl: didn’t YOU have him in/on the pedestal of your fav’rite Bennz ‘n Glennz? and i’d sus/ex/pect Mr. S knows all too well heez got that, uh, niche down (the gravel layer niche of all the choral layers)
Nope. The display case was filled by the pencil pusher.
The only way Stewart would be welcomed to have a seat in my whisky cabinet is if he were holding a bottle of 55 year-old Macallan.
i’m always MMMMprest with how wide, yet deceivingly DEEP, you make the path of your discourse …
and the amusement factor is just the proverbial icing!
Shucks, Betunada, that’s just music to my ears. Purely poetic.
And thank you.
It seems a vicious cycle, this teaching of lessons which in turn we teach others. Also a hopeless and thankless one for willing teachers to unwilling students such as myself. You and the tea bag have made it onto my own short list, thanks to the memorable: “Experience is a comb which nature gives us when we are bald.” Now if I could only apply that to my own leap from the end of the branch….
You know, you bring out a very good point, which is that there are many lessons we teach others that have been handed down to us and are now spread out with that “ripple effect” delivery. And some of them may not be (in hindsight) what we truly want to pass on. I think about this scenario with my kids. The whole “practice what you preach” idea. It’s a toughie, but ultimately worthy. Your comment just spurred that wayward thought.
And are you the willing teacher in your example or the unwilling student? I think I’ve had plenty of examples where I have played both roles. Probably still do. Another really good point!
Lastly, my huge thanks for the most becoming comment. It’s a thrilling thought to feel you’ve made someone’s short list. We should all be so lucky.
Cheers to you!
As ever I am the recalcitrant student in the student-teacher scenario. I would have a hearty laugh at the thought that anyone was learning valuable life lessons from me! Ha! I am however, very happy that my comment inspired further wayward thoughts for you, which hopefully I will get to enjoy in longer post form in the future….
I do love that Douglas Adam’s quote. You’re right, teachers come in many different guises and role models. Goodness, even our offspring teach us a thing or two sometimes!
So right, Susan. I have learned that, according to my teenage kids, it’s a massive surprise that I have enough intellectual powers to work a toaster.
I’ve been told that when they reach their twenties, I may move up a notch to something more impressive like having the capability to identify half the buttons on the TV remote control.
Ah, but do your offspring play dumb when you ask them for help with WordPress? ‘Oh, I don’t know about that middle-aged stuff’,’ was the response from my youngest.
I had to laugh.
Ha ha ha – those groping hands and being agile around furniture is really funny.
Well, I suppose a little time and perspective can provide us the humorous side of history, right? At times I swear my life was a scripted sitcom. I don’t think Hollywood knows how to behave otherwise. It all just goes with the territory. Sadly. And predictably.
So glad you got a giggle out of it. 🙂
I love how you’re able to derive meaningful lessons from life experiences, even when those lessons were doled out by some pretty wretched people! You know me and my love of quotes, so of course those priceless words of wisdom written and uttered over the centuries have done much to teach me about life. I also had some awesome teachers in school who believed in me even when I didn’t. (I can still recall the agony of tenth grade Chemistry. I was terrified I wouldn’t pass the class, and at one point I moaned to my stern teacher, “I’m just no good at this. I’ll never understand it!” And she gave me a steely look and said, “That’s garbage.”) My greatest teachers, however, have been my parents. They are truly awesome people, and I continue to learn from them every day.
Boy, I bet your folks are totally chuffed to hear you say those words. It’s what we’re all shooting for, isn’t it? To know that with this massive responsibility of growing people, we actually did not fail on a grand scale. You’ve got one shot and a billion pitfalls along the way.
Knowing your love for quotes and your love for your parents, this is one I’ve said a thousand time over. Parenting: toughest job to have, easiest one to get.
Bundle up, Miranda! Here’s a warm hug from my side of the screen, although it’ll likely do diddly squat against this polar vortex. ❤
You might recall my poem about things that scared me as a child (in a word–everything). My parents and sister are pretty fearless, so the fact that they accept all my neuroses and love me all the same has made me the person I am today. And I know you have two awesome kids who serve as a testament to what a great mom you are. 🙂
Oh my goodness, I can’t believe how cold it is! I run around in short sleeves all winter, and even I’m saying it’s too darn cold! It’s supposed to feel like spring early next week, though. Warm hugs to you as well, my friend!
Can you share Leonard with me? I need some help with my internet connection, too. 😛
You have a lot of really interesting characters in your life. The last week or so I’ve been reminded of mine. Through a very sad experience, I was reminded how much I love my neighbor, and my boss, and my family, and the people sprinkled across the globe that choose to keep up with me on an internet-provided wavelength.
Love that picture of the potted maple. There is some really interesting stuff going on with the lighting in the background. 🙂
Ha! That fellow would not be able to make heads or tales of life on the other side of the county line. It’s one of the interesting things about him. His life is lived inside this wonky snow globe world, yet his confidence of how to rule said world runs sure and deep. The only time Leonard got a taste of the Orient was when he was down at the Jam Jar Cafe and Millie, who runs the kitchen, tossed a can of sliced water chestnuts into her tuna casserole and called it Chop Suey Nite.
And, Alex, I’m sorry to hear something somber was the catalyst of making your own short list. I hope it’s not an event far reaching and long lasting. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you.
The maple lighting? Morning fog up here on this mountaintop. I love the misty bits and how they soften everything. It’s like living in a soft-focus world. Probably a bit like Leonard’s.
Yet another lovely life tale! Haha. Besides the inanimate objects, for me, it’s (pre-mature balding, but always smiling) Jeremy at my nearest gas station. He’s constantly trying to pursue a conversation about my keychains. There’s possibly wisdom beneath the gibberish. (:
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Yep. I think there are a bazillion times a day where if we choose to slap on our Sherlock hats, we can sleuth out the “brilliance in the babble.”
A million thanks for taking the time to read and comment.
Here’s to life’s “Jeremys.”
Although I admire American Dream (from Ben and Jerry), this line got me the most. “The problem with the gene pool is there’s no lifeguard.” … Awesome!
Somewhere in the world, someone is probably still patting themselves on the back for creating that clever adage.
And I’m still chuckling.
Not that you will read this, I am so late in commenting… but I love teachers too, so much so I married one. So there. Very funny, especially the feline. xx
I read it all, Ardys, and I’d never miss out on a comment from you.
I love your proof in the pudding regarding teachers. He’s lucky to have such an admiring (and humorous) support system.
Now, let’s see if he’ll help sort out the laundry from all the travels this summer, right?
Ha!! Fat chance! He was on an airplane again the next day after the bags arrived. But that’s okay, I wouldn’t have traded places with him, so glad to be home again. xx
I like this post very much dear Shelley… As I was reading your lines I thought that Life is indeed a succession of lessons… well I know that one wasn’t an epiphany but rather a cliche statement 🙂
Anyway Oscar WIlde would say Experience is the name we give to our errors…
I have also had too many teachers… And I still remember some quotes to live by or anecdotes
I’ll add a few ones from High School teachers because I still remeber those ones well… (Odd that I can’t think of sayings by my college’s professors right now… Maybe because they were more formal and oddly made jokes and so on…
Literature teacher High School… “Okay let’s leave the “grass” (weed) for another moment… Now we gotta speak about Leaves of Grass” (Whitman’s book).
History teacher high School: “I am feeding with my knowledges the future leading class of the country” (too histrionic)
Well, then, that was my input on this subject… Great post. Thanks a lot for sharing!. Best wishes. Aquileana 😀
I’m all about cliches, metaphors and quotes from our elders. Bring it on. I’m glad you had a chance to revisit some of your teachers’ words of wisdom, Aquileana. I think I could wax lyrical about so many more, it would easily drive folks from the room. But these people have helped to influence who we are, and I think they’d be grateful to know they made a measurable impact.
Cheers to you! (and now I’m off to hunt down an old Whitman book of mine for a little inspiration!)