Someone complained that this blog is too negative.
“So, tell me some good experiences you had,” I begged. “It’s not like I don’t want those stories too.”
“But they’re not really stories,” she said. “My good experiences are mostly teachers going above and beyond to answer my questions.”
Ah, questions. I could write a whole post of just good and bad stories about questions.
On the bad side, there’s the time a teacher said she had a historical primary source for Achashverosh having worked in the Persian stables before he became emperor. Devorah asked if the teacher would bring in the source.
“Sure!” the teacher cheerfully agreed. But the next day she forgot. Also the next, also the next. Also the next. Also the next.
I could fill an entire page with “also the next day” but maybe it would be easier on the reader if I switched to “also the next week” and maybe “also the next month.”
Devorah was nothing if not persistent. At least once a week she went over to the teacher to ask if she’d remembered the primary source. And at least once a week she was given an update. “Oh I completely forgot!” changed to “I found it – it’s on my desk!” and eventually, “I put it on the table so I’ll see it when I have my morning coffee” where it stalled.
At the end of the year Devorah gave up. She never got the source.
But then again, there was our Mussar teacher, who was so willing and eager to answers Devorah’s questions that she delayed class for it. The most amazing part was that she actually knew all the answers. That teacher knew everything.
And then there was Mrs. Lauder, our navi teacher, who once spent an entire class debating a question with Devorah. I was very impressed. Usually teachers got frustrated when their answers didn’t satisfy, and they’d say “come to me after class; we’re falling behind in the curriculum” but not Mrs. Lauder. She thought it was something the whole class could benefit from, and she answered and answered until the bell rang.
Then there was Lyl, who asked her Chumash teacher a tough question. “It was my first Chumash class in my new school for bais Yaakov rejects,” she explained. She started it in 11th grade.
“I don’t know the answer,” the teacher admitted, “But give me a week, and I’ll get you one.”
After a week, Lyl went back to the teacher. “Did you find an answer?” she asked.
“I found a few,” the teacher said. “But none of them satisfied me, so they definitely won’t satisfy you, so give me another week?”
Lyl gave her another week. The teacher found an answer.
And that is Bais Yaakov working how it should.