When I was a schoolgirl in my first school in England, I desperately wanted to have friends. I was American in a school full of British schoolgirls. At age 10, I had studied French for only one year to their four years of French and two years of Latin. I didn’t know the British monetary system, so I was “behind” in math. All in all, I felt like a big dummy.
As kids will do, I “proved myself” in other talents. The other girls were in awe of my ability to shimmy up the poles that supported the roof overhang. (Little did they know we had a pet Capuchin monkey from whom I took shimmying lessons.)
One day, toward the end of the school year, a girl, who until this time had been very “snobby” to me, came up to me with a request. Her name, I recall to this day, was Deborah Marsted.
“Judith, will you please climb on the roof and retrieve my super ball?
I don’t know whether you recall these tiny balls that bounced REALLY high, but hers had managed to land on the roof.Hesitant, I asked,
“Are you sure I won’t get in trouble?”
“No, Miss Marshall said you could get it,” Deborah replied.
So, up I went. I retrieved the ball and shimmied back down the pole. When my feet hit the ground, I looked up and there stood Miss Marshall. She did not have the look of an adult who was pleased with what she was witnessing. No, rather, she had the look of a very displeased adult.
I was hauled off to Miss P. (the principal’s) office, where I was informed that, not only were my parents to be notified of my unladylike behavior, but were it not for the fact that the school itself was closing down at year end, I would be expelled.
Two things I learned that day.
Never want something so badly that you are able to convince yourself you are hearing the truth, even when that little voice in your head is yelling, “wait, wait!!!”
Never shimmy up poles to retrieve balls for someone who doesn’t have the b---s to do so for themselves!