Summer School: Day 8
Because the summer school director needed to consult with me about the fate of some students this morning, I was late for my first-period class. No problem. My co-teacher had taken charge and introduced the lesson. As I entered the room, she was reading aloud to the students from Number the Stars:
Annemarie looked at the Rosens, sitting there, wearing the misshapen, ill-fitting clothing, holding ragged blankets folded in their arms, their faces drawn and tired.
What? What was that dissonant note?
Instead of saying misshapen, Ms. L had said “mis-happen.” (I knew that a mishap could occur, but I didn’t know that something could “mis-happen.”)
She kept reading and I didn’t say anything. It’s one thing to correct a student who mispronounces a word, another to correct a colleague—especially in front of students. Besides, I’m the only one who flinched; nobody else noticed anything amiss.
My co-teacher may not be perfect, but neither am I. Until I was 28 years old, I thought remuneration was “renumeration”—and that’s exactly how I pronounced it (much to my mortification in retrospect).
I’ve mellowed a lot over the years. Much of my abrasiveness has been worn away. I now know that extending even a little charity to others goes a long way toward building harmonious relationships. More than anything else, I want to be working with my fellow teachers and not against them.