She erupted in a verbal mess all over me. She told me (and all the other stunned students) that I was immature, that I was disrespectful, that I was arrogant to think that I knew what she was saying before she had even finished talking. She humiliated me that day.
In the ensuing years though, I've come to understand what she was saying.
- How many times have I been speaking only to have someone else rush in and finish my sentence?
- How many times have I been in the middle of asking a question only to have someone cut me off with their answer?
- And how many times have I wanted to share my own experience only to have someone else follow-up with, "But MY experience was so much worse than yours!"
I'm tired of it happening to me. I'm tired of doing it others.
Every year I adopt a mantra. My motto for 2009 is, "Just listen."
Although it was inarticulate in delivery and poorly timed in choice, I suppose that really is what that teacher was trying to say all those years ago.