Friday, September 18, 2015

Sometimes it Takes 288₪ to Appreciate Someone

In my first year of high school, my spoken Hebrew far outstripped my written Hebrew since I'd spoken (albeit imperfect) Hebrew my whole life, but had relatively little formal education. Likewise, my knowledge was uneven in Judiac studies. I knew entire brachot (blessings) and tfillot (prayers) by heart, and had read through most of ברשאית (Genesis) myself, but again, I lacked formal education.

9th grade me did not
see the value of pristine books.
Since the test they gave us for placement was multiple choice, my extremely poor spelling slipped through unnoticed. Since they were testing children from a number of different schools, general knowledge of prayers and rituals got me through the test with a relatively high score despite a weak background. In short, I was initially placed in a class where I was out of my depth. On further reflection, I realize that my barely passing grades probably meant I was exactly where I belonged for maximum learning potential, but a thirteen-year-old who fails a test isn't always the best judge of where they belong.

So there I was - I was in this class where the teacher was really strict, and (I felt) mean. She had a harsh manner to her,and she gave a test that I thought I did well on, and I FAILED! So I did the most logical thing I could think of and switched into another class where I managed to scrape by with minimal effort.

I remember only one thing this teacher taught me. On the first day of school, someone asked if we could write in our books, and she said "They belong to you. You won't have to pay for them if you write in them, but I don't like it. In the war, they destroyed our books. Keep your books clean. Please."

In high school, I did write in my books. I won't say the lesson got through that day... Fast forward to this year.

I bought absolutely huge, gigantic, gargantuan piles of books for my kids. And put a sticker with their name on the plastic outer cover of each. Even though these are workbooks, and my children will write in them, the idea of keeping them pristine remains. And then it turned out that a whole bunch of the books were the wrong ones. That is, the teacher prefers an older version and didn't bother to put that detail into the list. Or the teacher decided to use something entirely different and didn't notify us until after I'd bought everything and organized everything.

At any rate, today I took back 288worth of pristine school books. And got my money back. 

Thank you for teaching me something valuable. And I'm not talking about the money.