This has become evident by the quizzical stares I receive after responding to someone's statement or question.
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Last week, one of my students thought I was off my rocker at the beginning of school when I responded to his comment with, "Well, I missed you, too!"
He looked at me and said, "What? Mrs. Prejean, I said I have to tie my shoe."
Oh. I thought he had missed being in my class since the day before and had said, "Mrs. Prejean, I missed you."
You. Shoe. You can hear it, can't you? Don't those two words sound alike? C'mon. Be on my side.
At a tournament over the weekend, all of the parents were snapping photos of the volleyball players as they celebrated a victory. I tend to be oblivious in these moments of most things: How to operate my camera, what items are falling out of my hands, and which people I am standing before.
Is it any wonder why I would think that one of my students would tell me I was in the way?
Middle-age mother, fumbling with camera, clumsily dropping personal items, while stepping in front of other moms in the same predicament.
"You're in the way, Mrs. Prejean!" is what I heard.
"I'm sorry," was my reply as I stepped back, out of the way of other photographers.
The look on my student's face revealed that my ears were at it again.
"You told me I was in the way, right?" I asked her.
She just shook her head and said, "No, I said, ‘I love you, Mrs. Prejean!' "
Wow. That mess up really made me feel bad.
The player was actually expressing her joy at the instruction I gave them: Bring your pillows to class on Monday. (After the students took a four-page grammar test, they were allowed to put their heads on their pillows and close their eyes.)
Most of them only had about five minutes of shut-eye, but it was a great reward for their hard work over the weekend.
Let's see. " ... in the way" and "I love you."
Don't even ask where I got that one. I couldn't tell you.