I remember getting yelled at by my "mean old" neighbor - who was actually neither mean nor old! - to quit picking up the phone when she was using the party line. I remember my friends asking to use our phone to call home and say they were running late and reminding them to dial 9 to get an outside line.
It was such a big deal to be old enough to answer the phone and learn to say, "Hello, King residence." And to drag the phone into the bathroom, closing the chord in the door so I could have a private conversation with my boyfriend, my sisters knocking on the door and giggling.
In those days, I really wanted to talk.
8th grade Science. First D ever on a report card.
Me: "Mrs. Peregrine, why do I have a D?"
(Of course I had no way to have looked at the teacher's grade book online to know this answer.)
Mrs. Peregrine: "Well, Susie, your mouth has not stopped moving since you came into this room in August. What did you THINK was going to happen?"
I returned to my seat in shock. Embarrassment. Confusion.
But she was right. I really liked to talk!
These days, I'm trying to listen more. (I really am! I SEE some of you out there laughing!) I am trying to listen to those who just need to be heard. I want to understand and represent their voice when I can. I want to know where their emotions are coming from. I know that connections come from listening to each other and that is what I need in my life, personally and professionally.
I know I still interrupt people (sorry Chet!) and I may speak when there is nothing that really needs to be said. I am a work in progress. But that is what life is all about.
Also, if you're still reading, please click on the survey below so I can see how many people are out there.
I am a high school teacher in Wheatfield, Indiana, trying to reach out to my kids in a way that works for them.