Thursday, July 28, 2005

Why I'm Proud My Dad Was a Teacher

Cheri Pierson Yecke wants to complain about the small-mindedness of those who think that ridiculing people's appearance is fine as long as their husband and father has committed the crime of getting himself nominated to the Supreme Court. I don't object to her political point; I think it's a pretty good one as far as it goes. But I'm much more interested in the personal anecdote with which she frames her story:

When I was a seventh-grade teacher, I confiscated a note written by a girl named Jennifer. It was titled "Everyone Hates Melissa," and Jennifer was collecting signatures.

Melissa, a quiet and gentle girl who was the smartest in the class, was described as "a nerd,"ugly" and "weird." Her hair, her clothes, her looks were brutally criticized -- but not her demeanor or her academic skill. After all, there was nothing to criticize there.

...

As for Jennifer, we ran into each other at a football game after she was out of college, and she told me there was something she had wanted to say for years. You see, on that day so long ago, after the rest of the class had left, I had Jennifer read her ugly note aloud -- but I made her substitute "Jennifer" for every time she had written "Melissa."

She told me that this incident was the turning point in her life. From that point forward, she was determined to become a teacher so that she could prevent such bullying as she had once dished out.

In other words, Jennifer grew up.


Half a hat tip to Miz Malkin (being Michelle, she was more interested in the liberal-slamming in the middle; so I'm only awarding half the hat)

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