What he meant to say was, "I'm so embarrassed." "I failed." "I feel stupid." "I let my teacher down." "I let myself down." How very often in life our emotions are misplaced. I do the same thing all the time.
So when we got home, I gently launched into the lesson. The way I look at it, when we fail we have four options:
- blame someone else (teacher, coach, parent, friend)
- quit (except the failure as permanent)
- cheat (find a way to save face without having to do the work)
- do the work
We decided to do the work. As it turns out, Mrs. Sipe had already offered him a make-up test. (Not so mean. . . . not so unfair. . . ) With this talk came the second round of tears. "I love my teacher. She isn't unfair, she isn't mean, I shouldn't have said those things."
First step, email teacher his apology--that was his idea. Next step, flash cards with state capitols--that was my idea. (Bill's idea was to fly to every state and visit the capitols before the next test. . . that is an ex-airline employee for you.)
Third step--pass make-up test with 100%.
Oh the tangled web we weave. To Mrs. Sipe and all the other grace-filled teachers out there. . . thanks.