Here's a continuation of my musings yesterday on the leaders of my youth. There are two vignettes here. One of them has me in the wrong and one of them has the leader in the wrong.
1. When I was 15ish, we had a substitute teacher for Sunday School once. It was a mixed class of girls and boys and I don't believe we were any more or less rowdy than other similar groups of teenagers at Sunday School. But it's entirely possible that my perception is skewed and we were known far and wide as the hellians of the ward. Who knows? But we had a substitute that day but she did NOT have time for our crap. When we laughed and chatted throughout the lesson like normal, she basically said, "if you guys aren't going to be respectful and listen to my lesson, I am not going to sit here and give it." And then she LEFT. It was as if we were on that proverbial family road trip and the dad actually turned the car around.
I, and other members of the class, felt horrible. A couple of us got together later and made cookies for her and delivered them to her doorstep with a note of apology. This whole incident was more than half my lifetime ago and I still feel like it was so badly done on our part.
2. Around that time, we were in a different class, this time in the girls-only group. I'm going to get pretty vague here - there was one girl who didn't fit in with the rest of the group for various reasons. I think she went to a different school, and didn't come to church very often, and maybe she was a bit younger or older than the rest of us? I can't exactly recall. But when she did come to church or activities, I promise you we girls were as inclusive as all get out. Like I said in yesterday's post, we were nice people.
But this one time, after class, the teacher had a few of us stay after and then she lit into us for being so rude to this other girl. We all looked at each other in shock. It turns out the teacher had heard a few different conversations going on and had thought they were all one, and this misinterpretation led to her thinking we had been laughing and making fun of this other girl. We tried to explain. I don't think she got it or believed us. And that made me mad. It was like she had this narrative in her head that for sure any given group of close-knit girls is going to make fun of someone who is even slightly an outsider, and whatever she saw in class that day was going to fit into that narrative, no matter what. Hmph. Again: half my life ago; still kind of peeved about it.