Monday, September 28, 2009

A Conversation with Melissa

Have you ever noticed that most of my conversations with Melissa seem to be really thought provoking? Who would have thought that you learn more from your children than the other way around. Seems kind of backwards, but I guess that's how it's supposed to work. Or at least how it does in our house.

Melissa and I were discussing her "Personal Narrative" that she is supposed to be doing as a writing assignment in her class. She is a little frustrated because as she put it, "If I do it the way my teacher wants it done, then it just won't be me..."

{Insert pertenent information necessary to the story: Two weeks ago, she wrote a poem entitled "I Am" which if she gives me permission, at some point I will post the whole thing, but for now, I will tell you one line of it. She wrote, "I try to please everyone."}

It reminded me of a time in High School. I had this English teacher that simply put did not EVER share my point of view. If I wrote a paper on some subject using my own thoughts and ideas, she would return the paper chuck full of red ink, with a big "Re-write" on the top. The comments throughout the paper would say things like, "You didn't support this idea enough." or "What about {insert contradictory idea}?" She would thoroughly pick apart the paper because she didn't agree with it. So one time I went in to her class during lunch, and she told me all of her ideas of how my paper should be, what should be said, and I went home and rewrote it, and got an A. So, I learned my lesson. Each time she gave us a subject for our next paper, we would have a little discussion about it. I took very careful notes on what EXACTLY her position was on the subject and wrote a paper based off of that. Got an A everytime.

I am a people pleaser, just like Melissa.

What is sad about being a people pleaser, is I think that each time you cater to someone else in order to please them, I think you lose a little bit of yourself. I think you become what everyone else wants you to become instead of what you yourself wants. I think I am that way, but I don't want that for Melissa. I want her to be able to be her own person, and not cater to so many other people that she doesn't ever decide what SHE wants, or stand up for what SHE believes.

I know, shame on my teacher or any other teacher for that matter who isn't open to all thoughts and ideas. And accepting of ANY paper that is turned in as long as it is well written and done under the proper guidelines. And shame on the rest of us who aren't as open and accepting of others in their own thoughts and ideas. I'm just sayin'.

1 comment:

Lhone said...

That is a tough problem. Unless she needs the huge good grades, I'd say do what she would be most proud of for herself. It would be better to allow her to define herself now rather than lie to herself just for a good grade. Easy for me to say.