Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Constructive Criticism: Can You Take It?

I'm a good substitute teacher, maybe top 10 in the district if there were a contest.  But just today, some students shared with me that a teacher, for whom I subbed, was talking a little trash behind my back.  The students said:

"Mrs. Krantz said you have sucky handwriting, and so she couldn't read any of your notes you left her.  Also, you messed up a bunch of stuff, so, yeah, she was kinda bugged."

I stared at them in utter horror.

"She really said that?  About me, The Katy Suzuki? That's OK, girls.  I'll talk to her to make sure things are all right.  I feel horrible if that's really true.  Thanks, girls."

Of course I was nice about it on the outside, but my inner-me wanted to take the situation to the back fields.  Sucky.  My handwriting?  I've never heard that one before; and who uses that word, anyway? Especially in front of teenagers?

I texted her and asked if all this was true and she said the handwriting part was.

"I had a hard time reading your writing, and that was difficult for me."

"I'm so sorry," I said.  "I hope it didn't cause problems."

"Don't worry about it; it's fine.  Everything else was fine. Thanks."

"OK, thanks:)"  I texted back, leaving a smiley to let her know I put my dukes in my khakis' back pockets."

All day I've thought about my handwriting and how I thought it was actually quiet pretty.  I even wrote a little note to myself using the same kind of writing I always use, "Don't forget to pay the pest control guy."  The words and letters were legible, and I stood back to see if I could still read the note from a distance.  Crystal clear.

But just seconds ago I went outside to get the mail and in the stack there was a letter stamped "return to sender."  In perfectly printed writing above the address was written, "No such address."  I double checked the address to make sure I had written it correctly, and I had.  But a closer look to the street name revealed a truth that I might have to inhale (or suck).  When I had written Flower Rd., my F and L connected, forming an A: Aower Rd.  Now, on any other day, I wouldn't have thought twice about the returned letter.  I would blame the returned letter on the mailman's ineptitude and move on with it.  Instead, I readdressed a new envelope, printing FLOWER in all caps.

Maybe what looks perfectly fine to me is chicken scratch to somebody else.  Yes, Katy, your writing sucks.  Work on it.

P.S.  I also cut my bangs.


  1. Ouch!

    Bangs are a cheap way to get happy quick. :)

  2. This is one of the advantages of texting: confronting someone without actually having to look her in the face. I like this.

  3. Oh Katy! I love that picture- so awesome. You LOOK like an amazing sub and since I know you, I'd say you're without a doubt- in the top 5.