Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Sincerity Issue

“What a smart-alec!” he burst out. The person he was talking about was his second-grade teacher. He was not aware of that his mother found it to be weird to insult her about being too much into smartness. “Honey,” she said, “she needs to be smart about what she has to teach you!”

“Oh! I don't mean that!” he answered. “I mean she's a smart-alec about how come the other kids might appreciate us for being sincere! It's not like we can't handle it about each other! It's just that she tells us there's no use in seeing them as one's friends unless we have deep sincere talks to each other!”

“So?” his mother asked him.

“So!” he answered, “she doesn't admit that we can be friends anyway! And the only thing she tells us is that we had to be sincere in order to get rid of the fighters among them!”

“What fighters?!” His mother looked puzzled.

“Oh, there in the other class, the one above us! Some of them keep picking on me and two other kids in our class! But it's not about sincerity mom! It's about that they can't find any reason to like not being superior, and thereby they want to keep fighting their so-called inferiors!”

She looked at her son. “I suppose you mean that sincerity would be out of place since they don't want to respect you enough to have to listen to you, then, right?”

“I sort of mean that mom! I mean that and that I don't find them superior when I doubt them as I would had I been more sincere about my situation about them!”

His mother looked troubled. “Oh my then, sonny! ... But why do you feel that she's being a smart-alec? I mean isn't she just into being wrong about them?!”

“She's into, mom, just pretending to be right about me, and about them! And she's into being right about me in a sense that she instructed me to pretend to be sincere - and then they only beat me up worse for it!”

His mother seemed to be taking this as a very bad thing of her. But she also seemed to fake, he thought, that she was feeling that he could be right, rather than that his teacher was. Thereby he didn't trust his mother about this, just like he hadn't when the two bullies from third grade started beating up on him and two others. “Mom, you're sincere only about that I've been beat up! Not about that I am being badly treated by my teacher!”

“I still want to say what I have to say to you! It's not she, it's them who are bullying! It's not - or at least hardly - she who can help, I think, that she's too stupid to understand that she's wrong about how to handle them! But yes, I think we can work something out against them, and perhaps I can have them be suspended from the school!”

“I can't believe there's any alternative to seeing them as the only trouble I have, although I find my teacher to be a trouble in herself! That's she who isn't sincere enough to say to me that she doesn't know for certain if there was sincerity missing with how I handled them before that talk to her. ...”

His mother sighed rather deeply. “Look, sonny, we can't get them suspended unless we also are nice to that teacher of yours!”

“I don't see any suspension as the absolute thing about them! It's not me who should argue with how they're suspended, be it from my teacher or not! It's not they who should be told to stay around in the first place! And therefore I think we should have them suspended even without talking to my teacher about them!”

She sighed deeply again. “I told you, sonny! I can't get them suspended unless we have the teachers sympathy for us!”

“Try, then,” he answered, “not to suspend the, but to just have them on retention for a while!” he didn't quite know what 'suspension' meant. He figured it must be some way of having them in prolonged retention or something like it.

Hi smother looked at him with a puzzled expression. “We can't just have them for retention!” she said at last. “What we need is to really have them expelled from that school of your!”

“Then what shall we do with them after that? There's no use in trying to convince them that we're all trying to ease tensions in the school! Devil in them will be retaliating fairly soon unless we have them many miles away from here!”

His sighed once more. “Sonny! What I mean with expelled, as well as with suspended, is exactly that they don't belong anywhere near the students they've been bullying! Now please let me call that teacher of yours, and let us discuss, sincerely, how come the three of them haven't been suspended earlier!” With that she seated herself beside the house-hold telephone, looked up a number, and called it.

Her son looked at her while she was doing it. He wondered if the harassment from his teacher really seemed like an embarrassment to her. It seemed so curiously smart to say to oneself that everything she does is too correct to be criticized. And there she was, his mother, calling her, and relying upon her, as if nothing had ever happened about her.

Two days later his teacher told him that she had gotten the three bullies suspended. He then felt that he was satisfied, but still wondered: How could there be any notion of there being potential, even, wrongs, in that teacher of his, when everything that aught to be correct always has to pass through her so-called better judgment in order to take effect?

“Thanks!” he still said to her. “Thanks a whole lot!”

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