How to Say You’re Sorry
She was uncouth, to say the least. Big, crude, often crass. Once when a beloved student was in the hospital with a life-threatening concern, she wondered out loud whether school would be canceled if a student died. For this reason she wasn’t always received well by her classmates.
She was loud in her joys and sorrows. She needed a lot of attention. She didn’t know how to handle females; no one had taught her how to be one.
She caught me on a bad day with a bad attitude. She complained loudly about the assignment and I shot her a look, voiced my own displeasure. We left each other alone the rest of the hour, but she would be back again 8th period, at the end of the day.
She came in and loitered around my desk. She didn’t seem to have much to say. As the final bell rang, I discovered the reason for the lingering. A folded piece of notebook paper on my desk.
Inside: “I’m sorry for being a jerk.”
For all her flaws socially, here was something many adults haven’t learned: how to apologize when you’ve messed up.
Teaching teaches me yet again: just when I think I have someone pegged, he or she surprises me.