Café Crem

Art, Music and Words around The Coffee Table

Remembering 55 years ago

 

Here is something I put together today –the cause and my reaction–about a feeling that lingers  in my mind from time to time.  

It was the time that I first felt wronged by someone. I takes place in in the least expected situation, that’s a kinder garden class or probably first grade. The experience plays like this: The child (boy or girl) next to me leans in my direction and whispers something which I was not even able to hear. At that same moment the teacher turns around and sees me looking at her. I had not said a word, but she heard someone whispering and immediately assumed that I was the one talking. The teacher did not even stop to analyze the situation nor she asked around. On those times we were expected to sit silently  while the teacher was writing on the chalkboard; I don’t think the “new batches” of kids can do that! I knew that nothing I could say could have changed her verdict. Needless to say I felt very ashamed  and humiliated when she accused me and later when I was punished by sitting me on a corner, with my back to the class. I was at the verge of tears.  Of course, the boy or girl said nothing.

I had always been a A+ child in grades and behavior and that  was part of our family values so the  feeling  was augmented by the value we placed in honesty, good behavior and justice. The feeling of been unjustly accused has never washed out  from me, probably making me extremely aware so no one can second guess my actions.  Here I am at 60, bothering about an incident so far away in time. A child’s mind is definitely like a blank slate in which you can impress anything. Things can often be completely different to what we  “see”.  That’s why we have to be very cautious on how we talk, what  we say to children. I suppose a modern teacher would take extra time to solve the issue, they are better prepared, more conscious.

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April 21, 2008 - Posted by | personal | , , ,

12 Comments »

  1. Who wrote this post? It’s not signed.

    Madame Monet

    Comment by wpm1955 | April 21, 2008

  2. I’m a teacher and would like to comment, but would like to “sleep on it” first. I’ll be back in a day or two.

    Madame Monet

    Comment by wpm1955 | April 21, 2008

  3. It’s from Yolanda, MM. Yolanda, great illustration!
    A great topic, too. I think to be wrongly accused is something that goes so deep into one’s psyche. it cuts to the very heart of who we are. I was accused recently of abandoning the dog we’d cared for for a while.(See the earlier post about Gypsy) I was bristling with indignation, and very, very upset. even though we hopefully made it clear that we had handed the dog to someone who had found a family for her in good faith, I cannot yet bring myself to talk to or even acknowledge this woman. To be thought of by someone as a person who would do such a thing was intolerable to me.

    Comment by kevmoore | April 21, 2008

  4. People… I forget that our names do not show.
    But it should not matter.

    Let me clarify that I was a teacher at the beginning of my career, my younger sister was also a teacher for many years and she loved being a teacher. I was to forget, my borther and other sister were also teachers until they moved to the private sector; so we all 4 have been teachers at some point in our lives.

    This is not an attack on teachers- I see it as an experience that could apply to anyone in a position of power and touching susceptibe minds– that is if I generalize the experience to cover a wider range of subjects and situations. Not all “subjects” of course, react the same, so we never know in which ground the “seed” is going to fall.

    I have opened myself in this entry, and I wanted to show how I learned — unconsciously to this moment – -to be cautious on what I say.

    Comment by anangeli | April 21, 2008

  5. You have no idea, Yolanda, how I enjoyed your post. First of all the illustration is simply great, so adapted to the subject, I simply love it. And its simplicity too.
    Many times I had the feeling that we are similar in many things. And look, as I read your entry, I thought:
    “Once again!”
    I have had in my youth (I was 13) a very bad experience which has marked me for life. I have been wrongly accused of something in the school, was then called by the director, who then called my mother and so on. What ever I said, the director didn’t believe me (but my mother knew I was right), and I became ill. I mean really ill. I had high fever one week long, so extreme was my reaction to that wrong accusation. Today, 40 years later, I can’t even write about it without getting deeply stressed inside.
    The result is a life long panic to be wrongly accused for something I didn’t do. The good thing is that I always pay MUCH attention not to do the same with other people. I always try not to accuse until I know with certainty that they are guilty… not always easy though! 🙂
    But I can truly say that I hate injustice more than anything…

    I deeply appreciate how you opened yourself to us, Yolanda… and I want to thank you, with all my heart. These are for me really great and true moments,. To get to know such persons as you is simply wonderful.
    Every time when one of our Cafe Cremers is making a very personal entry, I feel a deep emotion inside of me I know, I am a nightmare of emotional person!

    And yes, we have to be cautious on what we say. But not at any price I think. The spontaneity, which reveals our true personality too, shouldn’t suffer under it. As always it is a question of finding the balance.

    Comment by Miki | April 22, 2008

  6. I have suffered and benefited in unequal measure at the hands of teachers as a child. i can pinpoint one man who was instrumental in shaping what I was to become. his name was John Atkinson, and he was my music teacher in secondary school for a brief period. I should say here and now, I left school with no qualifications in music or art, and only studied English until 16. All of these shortcomings were the result of a growing disillusionment with my teachers/careers advisors etc. With hindsight, I don’t especially blame them. I believe teachers are required to shape everybody into a seething grey mass of equality, where individualism is actively discouraged. There may now be a flood of answers disagreeing, but I know my own experience. John Atkinson recognised something in me, and encouraged me to join the school band. (I’d already played drums for 4 years by then) and from the age of 12 to 16 I learned about music outside school hours. He also encouraged comparisons between rock and classical. this was unheard of back in the early 70’s in an educational establishment. I would theorise that the big riffs like The Kinks “You really got me” were not a million miles from the opening bars of Beethoven’s 5th, in mood and intent.And do you know the single most important thing that man did? He listened to me.

    Comment by kevmoore | April 22, 2008

  7. Yeap, a good listener do that to you, Kev…

    What I think shocked most Yolanda and Miki is the fact that “life isn’t fair” (that’s also the end of the musical theme of the serie Malcolm in the Middle but that fact doesn’t make the asertion less truthfull…) It’s kind of paradoxically since most of us have a thing I would call, to simplify, a sense of justice (or right and wrong) which we are almost born with… How often we heard our own children, or others, saying:But it’s not fair!!?…

    Comment by iondanu | April 22, 2008

  8. I pressed the wrong keys in the previous, Miki, please delete the former since I don’t think I have the permission to delete, and keep this edited version.
    ———————————————————-
    Kevin and Miki:

    Thank you for your comments about my graphic, it came to my mind as I wrote and was done with Serif Draw Plus a quick and simple vector drawing program. I read yor sagas about the dog and the hedge-–they were kind of similar in a way. In one you were accused and in the other you are harassed. I hope that did not happen in the same week!!!

    Miki, we must be bost Piscis or Piscians, however it is said. We share this emotional character wich in me is contained and in you is explosive. I think you explained batter what I felt in these words of yours, you are also like my voice here:

    “The result is a life long panic to be wrongly accused for something I didn’t do. The good thing is that I always pay MUCH attention not to do the same with other people”

    That was also the result of my experience although my words are not so clear and you said it best. I sounded like I was advising or teaching, which is far from the truth. Pardon my English, people! Each one learns what they have to learn and being so positive you have acted on it more positively than thinking about it. I have thought a lot about this until yesterday when I found out the cause of that horrible impending feeling .

    I don’t mind opening to you all for I find here a welcoming place to discuss many things openly and with the joy of living. Life is made of every little things we do and say, all the decisions we make and thoughts we have… so we are discussing life. It’s a great forum.

    For me the sense of hulliation has carried through all my life, what a burden to carry!But now I know and I can forgive and forget.

    Comment by anangeli | April 22, 2008

  9. What I cannot do is “EDIT” my entries. Already deleted, Miki!!!

    Comment by anangeli | April 22, 2008

  10. You are so right, Iondanu!

    “What I think shocked most Yolanda and Miki is the fact that “life isn’t fair” (that’s also the end of the musical theme of the serie Malcolm in the Middle but that fact doesn’t make the asertion less truthfull…) It’s kind of paradoxically since most of us have a thing I would call, to simplify, a sense of justice (or right and wrong) which we are almost born with… How often we heard our own children, or others, saying:But it’s not fair!!?… “

    Comment by anangeli | April 22, 2008

  11. I think I may write a whole post addressing this important subject, but it will have to wait a few days until I have time.

    Madame Monet

    Comment by wpm1955 | April 22, 2008

  12. @ Madame Monet
    Yes, this would be great to read a post about the subject. Even hundred of books wouldn’t cover it, I guess!

    @Anangeli
    (by the way I call you Anangeli here so that outsider scan understand whom I am answering)
    You describe us both in a wonderful way:
    “We share this emotional character wich in me is contained and in you is explosive”
    It is true.
    But not the entire truth. We are even more similar than that, but kind of inverse.
    When you have a strong negative emotion, you explode, in your own special way, I noticed that already.
    But when I have a strong negative emotion I implode! I keep absolute silence, and nothing more moves inside of me. I feel then myself like dead, there is then always a big vacuum inside of me!

    Thank you for what you say about Cafe Crem., it means so much to me! I really love this place, there is not in normal life any place where I go with such a pleasure, such a trust, and such an impression of becoming “richer” and even “better” inside of me.
    And yes, we are discussing life. This is what more matters for me now: OUR life. I adore all the daily details of each of us’ life. As I feel very close to all of us, I get then the feeling to live many different lives, what a wonderful gift to me!

    @ All Cafe Cremers

    THANK YOU SO MUCH!

    Comment by Miki | April 23, 2008


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