Saturday, September 14, 2013

Connecting the Dots

From as far back as I can remember, I've always had a different way of getting the job done.  Didn't really matter what the task at hand was, nor was I really trying to do it differently from everyone else, but I couldn't help it...  The earliest memory of this 'do it yourself' attitude, probably goes back to when I first started kindergarten.  

We were introduced to those "connect the dots" assignments; you know, the ones where the dots are numbered and you follow each one with your crayon or pencil until you reach the end and reveal some kind of animal, vehicle or other basic shape? Yeah, well, apparently I even did that... eh, differently

The teacher (bless her heart) stood over my right shoulder and studied my methodology.  I held my pencil steadily in my right hand, without moving an inch.  Then with my left hand, I guided the paper from dot to dot... So I was still completing the picture, just not the way everyone else was.  

"No, no sweetie, move your right hand to connect the dots, not the paper..." 

What's the problem lady? As long as I get it done, why do you care how I did it? Jeeesh!

And so began my plight with formalized education. See, I realized that I do NOT possess that brain cell that is the most adept to short cuts, or common sense...  In fact when I see these types of people who bust out crazy one handed, multi-tasking trickery, I stop and stare as if they are a magician. If left to my own devices, I oftentimes take a more creative, outside the box approach.  But if you put a book in front of me and say, 'study the history of the universe,' I will...

Which leads me to the much dreaded/feared U.S. constitution exam in the eleventh grade.  It was legendary and 'impossible.'  Or so everyone thought.  But I, the weirdo, locked myself in the basement of my house with flash cards, highlighters and way too much candy, and didn't come out for almost four days.  I went to school, took a deep breath, and was the last person to finish the exam

By the next class, everyone protested that test.  It wasn't fair.  It was too hard. They all failed miserably...  Then the teacher said, "Well I know for a fact it was possible to pass this test, if you all had studied the material. Because there is one student in this class who not only passed, but she got an A."  He looked at me and I immediately slid down into my chair.  When he held up my exam to class and then walked over to my chair, he set it down in front of me with the most subtle grin I'd ever seen; "Well done. Very well done." 

Oh God, it's going to be a mutiny.  You should have seen the way those kids looked at me; like, 'thanks a lot bitch.' 

My score completely blew their collective protests right out of the water.  There was one other girl in the class who passed and she looked at me like we were the most awesome geeks ever!!  She actually was kinda nerdy though, so I knew she was loving every second of this academic torture.  

I had ruined it for the rest of the class.  But you know what? I'm glad.  It kind of made me feel like a super hero or something.  Because the memory of being "corrected" that day in kindergarten for the way I had completed the assignment always bothered me.  I remember feeling so confused and embarrassed.  I didn't understand why I had to be called out for the way I was connecting the dots.  Especially since the end result was still the same... 

And if my way was harder, why not let me figure it out on my own?  Oh gosh, I can't help but laugh at the image of my pint sized self, moving the paper around and not my right hand... Awww... Bless my heart.  

Those two scholastic memories are obviously the ones that made a huge impact on me.  I learned from a very early age that I might have a different way of doing things... not exactly wrong... just different. And that one day, doing things my way, would pay off in the long run.  

I think there are probably a million ways to connect the dots in life.  It may not be the most obvious or standard approach.  But it's not only okay to be different, it may just be the very thing that separates you from the rest of the class.  And that's not such a bad thing after all.  

I suppose I just need to remind myself every now and then of that girl who has managed to get by just fine by connecting the dots in her very own, unique way.  Who knows what that picture will be? Maybe, when I connect that last dot, what I will see, is just me... 

Or an A+... yeah, that would be okay too. 


Teacher's Pet

1 1/2 oz Blended Whiskey
1/2 oz Dry Vermouth
1 Tsp. Sweet Vermouth
2 dashes of Bitters

Stir on the Rocks
Garnish with a cherry and orange

No comments:

Post a Comment