New Watch

One of the biggest events in my life happened in second grade. I got my first prosthetic hand! Up until then, I had always worn a hook. I was so proud of my new hand. It looked extremely real. I couldn’t wait to wear it to school. My Papaw Otto even bought me a brand new watch to wear on it.

Monday finally came. You know those days when you can’t quit smiling? It was one of those days. The kids on the bus were fascinated with my new hand. They asked me questions about it all the way to school. I bounced off the bus and headed to my class. The kids in my class were excited, too. They wanted to touch my new hand and see me operate it. When the bell rang, we all went to our seats. My teacher, Mrs. Rickey, walked over to my desk. I was beaming. I expected her to compliment my new hand and ask me about it. Instead, she coldly said, “You’re wearing that watch on the wrong hand. You’re supposed to wear a watch on the right hand.” Then she walked away.

I felt confused. “I didn’t know there is a rule about which hand you’re supposed to wear a watch on,” I thought. “And she didn’t say a word about my new hand. Maybe she didn’t notice it.” When I got home from school, I told my mom what Mrs. Rickey said. My mom seemed instantly mad and assured me that you can wear a watch on whichever hand you’d like.

Looking back on that day, I’m amazed. Aren’t our teachers called to encourage us, build us up, inspire us? What was she doing? Was she trying to kill my joy? Why would you do that to a kid? It’s a good thing for Mrs. Rickey that she made that comment to 7-year-old Becky and not 52-year-old Becky. 52-year-old Becky would give her a few pointers on how to treat children. Mrs. Rickey would probably start wearing her watch on her left hand.

 

“Better to wear a millstone necklace and take a swim in the deep blue sea than give even one of these dear little ones a hard time!” Luke 17:2 (MSG)

Second Grade

Second Grade

Author’s Note- Mrs. Rickey’s name has been changed to protect the guilty and the dead.

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11 thoughts on “New Watch

  1. I REMEBER THOSE KINDS OF TEACHERS. YOU AND I ARE BOTH WRONG BECAUSE I WEAR MINE ON MY LEFT ARM AS WELL. ALWAYS HAVE. RIGHT HANDEDLY I WOULD HAVE TO STOP WHAT I AM DOING TO SEE THE TIME…LOL. STEP SAVERS WE ARE…

    IT IS SAD WE LIVED SO CLOSE AND DIDN’T KNOW EACH OTHER BETTER THAN WE DID. I LOVE READING YOUR BLOG. YOUR PARENTS SEEM LIKE THEY SHOULD RECEIVE AWARDS. YOUR MOTHER SHOULD BE A SAINT.

    I ALSO MUST SAY I LOVE HEARING YOU PREACH/TEACH. YOU HAVE ALWAYS BEEN A GOOD INFLUENCE AND PERSON, BUT YOU REALLY GREW UP INTO YOUR GOODNESS!

    GOD CONTINUE TO RAIN HIS BLESSINGS ON YOU AND ON US THROUGH YOU.

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  2. Wow, Becky! What an amazing day that started out to be for you! It is sad that there are teachers/ adults who always seem to be critical or find fault with our children. I actually LOL’d when I read your closing lines about 49 year-old Becky giving Mrs. Rickey a few “pointers” about how to treat kids.

    Thanks for sharing!

    P.S.
    I wear my watch on my left arm too… O_o

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  3. Becky,

    I so much enjoyed this story too! I think that I remember you telling of this experience once before during one of our conversations. So sad that teachers like Mrs. Rickey use their positions to absolutely ruin the lives, break hearts, trash esteem, and beat down students rather than be encouragers and esteem builders. Teachers who have festered to this extent need to be put out to pasture!

    Although you may have been slightly scarred by this experience, you have become a better person. I know that you are a much more sensitive teacher and worker with children from having worked with you at HHBC, even if you did make me do the dance steps with the kids in large group activities on Sunday mornings. I’m not that talented when it comes to dancing, but still enjoyed it!

    By the way, I’m left handed (which explains my difficultly internalizing dance steps). When I got my first watch in first grade I wore it on my left wrist; just like everyone else that I knew who had a watch. I never realized there was a hard and fast rule on the matter either; left or right handed.

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    • Don,

      I have found great joy for many years in making people dance. My joy increases exponentially with the amount of difficulty that the person has doing it. You, Don, brought me much joy. 🙂

      Becky

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  4. I don’t know where Mrs. Rickey got her information or her education. As a long-time teacher, I am always appalled to hear stories of this kind. However, one of the reasons I became a teacher was to ensure that children would have a completely different experience in my classroom. Secondly, the arm you wear your watch on is usually the opposite arm that you write with.
    My daughter has a prosthetic leg. I am proud to be with her when she’s wearing shorts. She was “show-and-tell” at my school last week. It was great!

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  5. So true how teachers can make or break the spirit in a child. I had a negative experience with a teacher when I was in 9th grade that I have never forgotten. His words cut me so deep. For that reason, I think tenure stinks. Sorry, I don’t mean to offend anyone, but some people just should not be teachers. So glad I know a God who is able to lift our spirits! Thanks for your encouraging words.
    Jo

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    • That stinks, Jo. And I bet we’re not the only ones with a “bad teacher” story to tell.

      But here’s to all the wonderful teachers out there! I had a bunch of them. One was my high school math teacher, Mr. Callahan.

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