It’s end of school year time in Australia and I, like many school teachers, am drowning in report cards. Because I’m a music teacher, I teach more than just one class and therefore have over 160 reports to write. It makes me want to hurl just thinking about it.I’m spending a lot of time trying to find positive words for negative feelings. For example, when I want to say ‘Jimmy sucks. He seriously talks all the time, refuses to participate, and has the worst body odour I have ever smelled on a 10 year old’, I say something like ‘With increased focus and cooperation, Jimmy will find greater success in his music studies’. It’s is so completely unfulfilling and a total lie! But no parents want to hear the truth. They want something ‘upbeat’ that they can be proud of. So I press on.
My husband and I have recently been practicing in everyday life. Why not, right? For example, if I accidentally drop an entire open can of kidney beans on the kitchen floor and they fling out across the room, he might say ‘Katrina shows exquisite control in the execution of her housewifely duties’. Or when he breaks a toy I’ve asked him to replace a battery in, I might say ‘Husband shows commitment to mechanical tasks and great initiative under pressure’.
All this practice is really making the lies roll off the tongue.My mother would be so proud.