Monday, June 18, 2007

The Challenge

I listened as my mother "challenged" my dad seemingly unintentionally about his capability to do some things so soon after hip replacement. Was she being a sly fox or just unintentionally challenging him?

Some years ago the school employed a carpenter to build cabinets for my art room. The carpenter placed a huge cabinet in my closet although actually it was for student use and belonged in the classroom. He claimed it was such a struggle to get it in the closet and was so proud of his accomplishment. I praised his handicraft but suggested to him that it would better serve my purpose in the room rather than the closet.

His response was "It's too late now. You can not get it out of the closet. It will not fit through the door".

As he left I meekly called my co-teacher who was within earshot but not in my room. I wondered if the man thought I was an idiot. He got it IN the closet why did he think I could not get it OUT of the closet.

What?! Did I hear a challenge? Hump!...

The teacher next door had been quiet but I knew she could hear the conversation. Now that he was gone we went to work. We knew exactly what our task was. It took just a few minutes and a few grunts and groans and we had the huge cabinet just where it should have been placed to begin with.

Now, I am not sure this is an endearing quality I have or not but it is mine.
I have seen it in others and can recognize a challenge when I hear one.

I believe if I can not do something it is only because I have not learned how YET!
Give me a minute!


  1. How funny! I did a similar thing in my classroom a few years ago. I wanted the old, chipped, outdated bulletin board removed so I could put wall to wall foam core up and cover it with fabric. (I had won a grant to do this and was anxious to get started.) This was several weeks before school actually started, so there was nothing much going on around school, but the maintaince man said he would get to it eventually. (I knew what that meant!) I went back to my room and removed it myself with quite a bit of effort. I think he was embarrassed because after that he really jumped to get things done for me. He became a good friend, swapping bread recipes and everything. I didn't act like I was "taking matters into my own hands". I told him that I knew how busy he must be getting things ready for school to start and I decided that taking the board down was something that I was able to do without bothering him. It does make you feel "empowered" when you do something on your own.
    Remember Grandmama and the story of the hole in the wall? (She knocked a hole in the wall where she had been wanting a door for quite some time. Then the door HAD to be put in. We come by it honestly, I guess.

  2. Yes, we do come by it honestly.
    But maybe we are more diplomatic than Grandmama was with the wall.

    But we know the best way to get a project started is to start it yourself. The downside of this is you must be willing to finish it yourself.

  3. I have to admit that I am one of those people who once I am told something cannot be done, I immediately begin to try and fihure out ways to make something happen. True, it may not be an endearing quality, but it also depends on how you go about addressing projects.

  4. I'm a little like that. Usually the challenge has to come from someone not related to me. Otherwise I brush it off. What I'm wondering right now is this: a closet is for storage....a cabinet is for storage....why did he put a storage container IN a storage container???

  5. I'm like that with certain people. One man really gets me irritated with ignorant comments about what I am capable of doing. His comments are based upon the fact that I am a girl. That really gets my goat. Some days, my goal is to prove that I can do whatever he says I can't. That is a bag attitude.

    Also, if someone says that one of my students can't learn, I take that personally. I kick into "whatever it takes" mode.