Tuesday, January 9, 2018
the plastic crate that led to a round of applause
One day last spring, I was monitoring a math class at a local high school.
About 15 minutes into the class, one of the girls in the class jumped up and started walking around the room. Since she was clearly agitated, I called her over to my desk, and asked her what was troubling her.
She told me that she had been trying to see a few of her teachers, and could never seem to make contact.
At that moment, I glanced over to the side of the room, and noticed a plastic crate exactly like the one shown below sitting on the bottom shelf of a bookshelf.
"Follow me", I said.
The two of us then walked over to the bookshelf, and a moment later, I kicked the plastic crate as hard as I could, which scared the blazes our of both her and the rest of the class.
"Your turn", I said.
I then talked to the front of the class, and started a short speech:
"Ladies and gentlemen. Could I have your attention please?
Believe it or not, there will be times in your life when you will become frustrated. It is perfectly OK to to something to relieve your frustration, and kicking plastic crates is just one of those things".
For no apparent reason, I brought up a couple of additional topics.
"What ever you do, do not hold grudges. I know a few people who did not talk to some of their relatives for more than 10 years. Don't do it, because it is foolish. Learn to forgive and forget."
Then I gave them the punch line.
"And for heaven's sake, DO NOT DISCUSS RELIGION AND POLITICS with people you do not know. In fact, It's wise to be careful when discussing these topics even with people that you DO know".
At that point, I started walking back my desk.
Almost immediately, the entire class burst into applause, an outcome that I definitely was not expecting.
I thanked them and sat down, and I am sure that neither I or that class will ever forget what happened that day.
And it was caused by a plastic crate.