okay Mr. Cohen, you were right, of course

My 4th-grade teacher tried to impose a sense of dignity and purpose to us students. He insisted that we try our hardest and held us accountable for everything we did or didn’t do.

So even when I handed in a graph that was done perfectly, he only gave me a B because the paper had a mark embedded in the paper. It wasn’t 100%. So even though today we would say one should not waste the paper, he would answer, “Fine. Use it for someone else’s class who doesn’t care.”

But I’m not talking about appearances here.

I’m talking about another lesson that he gave, among many (that prove how important teachers are, in case anyone questioned that) that I remember even to this day so many many many years later.

(I can still see that brown spot in that paper in my mind’s eye.)

He would call out quite loudly when someone gave an incorrect answer or didn’t know the answer,


I can assure you, we knew that he absolutely honored each and every one of us. So we knew that he wanted the best for us and that we were not threatened by this broad gesture.

But we also knew he was totally right.

And oh how I wish I could be ignorant of so many things today. I wish for that bliss, but it’s not my portion in this world.

So many of you might wonder why I’m not a phone or a talky kind of person. I find it so much easier to hold my peace.

So for example, when someone leans over to me on Shabbat and says in the most truly concerned way “Oh so-and-so  told my friend what another so-and-so told him what happened” and I say “Really?  I didn’t think they were talking about it to anyone yet” and she continued saying “Yeah it’s so not clear–was it one person or two or three or” and then I realized she was talking about something else entirely and she said “Why? What are you talking about?” and I said “Oh never mind”.

But by that time, it was planted in her mind that there was something else entirely going on. Even if there isn’t.

But there’s always something else going on, even if only in our minds.

And then there’s the happy news that you’re not supposed to share, but of course you’re ecstatic to know and keep to yourself.

I was also thinking of calling this Stop & Shop’s Pea in the Pod service.

Our DIL#2 is allowing us to tell people that they are expecting a baby in November, baby #1 for them. But apparently, Stop & Shop knew that already. You probably heard about how Target targeted a young lady about her pregnancy, but her father didn’t know.

Target spokeswoman Stacia Smith said the company is focused on delivering great value and relevant offers, and also respecting shoppers’ privacy and operating with integrity.

“Like many companies, we use research tools that help us understand guest shopping trends and preferences so that we can give our guests offers and promotions that are relevant to them. Guests are always welcome to opt out of our marketing programs,” Smith said in the statement.

Well, Target isn’t the only act in town. Stop & Shop sent our DIL and S a sample Pamper.

They’re racking their brains to think of what they could have bought to warrant this behavior.

A jar of baby carrots to make something last year?

Curious and very scary.

So to revisit Mr. Cohen’s lessons, then, am I saying I would rather not know things?

I’m not saying.


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