Constructive Criticism 1

It’s somewhat sad to write about something that you wouldn’t even notice is a good and positive thing if it weren’t that so few people did it. But the fact is, we all notice the bad things anyway. I choose to also highlight the good.

I overheard two girls today talking about a particular teacher and a particular class. But what made them different was that they weren’t griping, exaggerating, blaming, or speaking lashon harah.

Rather, one told her friend that she was having xy and z issue, and that this was why. She added, in a reasonable, calm voice, that she knew she should respect this teacher, and she did, but that nevertheless, this was still an issue, and she had no clue what to do about it. Her concerns, I can attest to personally, were valid, and it was an issue. But the way she handled it showed maturity and respect.

Though poor behavior cannot be denied to exist, I also choose not to highlight it. If you don’t understand why this was music to my ears, kol hakavod for you.

Such a gift

I plan to elaborate on this later, but I can’t go to bed without saying thank you.

I never eat potato chips, but today, in the midst of one of the worst days I’ve had in a while, I suddenly wanted some, and ran down between classes.

G-d made the vending machine give me my chips for nearly free. Believe me, I was a little worried it was theft, and tried to work around it. But the machine insisted! What could I do?

In addition to those special rare souls who showed how much they care today, that warm hug from above helped take the edge off of the pain. I still don’t know what happened, or why, but I know, somehow, that it will be ok.

A public apology and show of gratitude

A lot of people have at school have asked me the usual question, ‘So, what did you do this summer?” I found out the hard way that ‘Work on  two websites’ is a much better answer than ‘spend a lot of time sick in bed, work, clean my room and do a chemistry course,’ and it’s not hard to see why.

Once, someone asked me which two, and I told her, rushing out the door to try and grab a drink before class, “Inspired by Starlight, which you should know, and my crafts website.”

She asked me a question about Starlight and I sad, “You READ THAT?” Ok, here’s the apology.

I wasn’t amazed by her reading it personally. It was only that something must be faulty in our reader stats, because nothing matching her location was showing up. It was also part gratitude– Lucky and I have been wondering for a while if anyone but us writers reads the blog anyway. We rarely get e-mails in, so it’s hard to tell. She’d often said that if one person read it, it would be worth it.

The girl’s reply was “Sort of.”  Thanks for accepting what I said and being one of those people.

Communication

Thank you to the friend, who spent the morning wondering if she paid on her cellphone for incoming calls, or just outgoing. (I though yes, she though no.) She still doesn’t know.

Even so, when a friend called from her seminary in Israel while we were on the bus home, she happily gave in to my nagging and gave it to me so that I, cellphone-less, could also have a quick turn to talk. It was really above and beyond and I was very glad for the opportunity.

Change is good

When I cry out to G-d in a fit of frustration, it seems that the most often comment is– “Why so soon after the last test?! Can I not be allowed to breath freely or smile without worry for a minute?!” It seems that the tests come one after the other– as soon as one finishes, the next is less than a day away, and sometimes hours or even only 30 minutes past the last one. And I’m not talking about little things. I’m not going to get into an objective ‘is this an issue or not’ because we could spend all day topping each other; but to me at least, these are very big things. Things outside my ability to handle that can often take months to resolve.

The past two days have been the first two days of school. And, looking back, I really have had that break I asked for. Sure, I spent the first day back telling people not to hug me because my guts might fall out onto the floor (yes, I really was feeling that sick at first, and it was beyond hilarious when I said it to an over-enthusiastic teacher); I had a dilemma with my lunchbox and a horrible time with my safa diagnostic test, and I still don’t have my new headphones. But all of these, in the grand scheme of things, are pretty minor. Most importantly, I had the resilience to treat them as such.

But I’ve never laughed so much on the first day of school before. Ever. Or nearly any day, in fact. It turns out I can take better care of myself then I though, and so my health’s basically been stable. (To the utter shock of the resource room director, who’s known me for a while.) I won’t say the past two days have been so easy, but they’ve been amazing fun, amazing growth, and a lot of a lighter load then I’m used to getting from Above.

No doubt, even if I wasn’t ‘due’ for another test right now, writing this will seal the deal. But that’s ok. It won’t erase what a wonderful start of the year it’s been. I hope I’ll cherish these simple sweet memories for a while.

It’s ok to get upset when bad things happen. For me, acknowledging it’s hard, and that each test pushes me past what I think I can do, even as I usually come out ok, is how I get the strength to pull together and move on with life. But there’s a flip side. You have to knowledge the good. Believe it or not, I just did.

Thank you G-d, from the bottom of the healthy heart You gave me, written with the fingers that feel pretty good today, recognized with the amazing brain You gave me to use, on the computer that works well, for a day that was good not just in hindsight, but right here and now.

A lesson in judgement

I found this from something I wrote two years ago and decided that it’s never too late to pass it on.

My brother has been recently doing an experiment on me- he says the word exam, and sees how much I yell at him.

This morning, he innocently asked “Are your exams today?”

I launched at him, and began a tirade, only to hear him say, “I know you can’t be late, so I just wanted to make sure I was ready.”

Another New User

Welcome to Lady Ziva, another new member of the team. We’re so glad to have you. Every new person has what to offer and I’m looking forward to seeing what special things you can share with us. You already made my day for signing up!

Thank you, Mim, for recruiting such a royal staff!

Remember that the contest is still running from our previous new user post.

Congratulations to Mim, Lady Ziva, and Princess Sarite and all our other readers for whom summer has officially started. Though school is out, the world at large is still filled with kindness in spite of (or even maybe because of) the heat. Keep your eyes peeled!

Not a joke

When is opening a door not just opening a door?

When you’re having a horrible day and you’re not feeling well and you have two exams that day and you’re exhausted and in the verge of tears at 8:18 in the morning.

And someone who I didn’t even realize that she noticed I was there stood at the top of the stairs for half a minute holding the door for me. It really actually made a big impact on the rest of the morning, which proved to be really stressful—but not as stressful as it would have been without knowing someone cares.