July 28, 2010
The Importance of Education...and Rubbing Your Neighbor's Back
Earlier tonight I gave a presentation to the teenage girls in my church about the importance of education. I came to the class armed with statistics and handouts out the ying yang... and old photographs of me from middle and high school. Everyone was impressed with the amount of gel I managed to squeeze in my hair.
How bad are the pictures? It will suffice to say that my cousin uses one of them as her profile picture on Facebook.
Usually I can hold my own in front of a crowd, especially if I bring brownies for that crowd to eat after my presentation. This group, however, gave me a run for my money. A few minutes, I was fumbling around like crazy. Maybe it was my unbridled enthusiasm about the subject matter, or the fact that all of the girls were sitting sideways in their chairs and rubbing their neighbors' backs during my whole presentation, but for whatever reason, I had a tough time staying focused.
Now that I've thought about it some more, I'm pretty sure it was the back rubbing.
"This isn't a massage parlor, so knock it off," I told them.
To the girls' credit, they did listen. One by one, they pivoted around in their seats so they were facing forward. I continued with my presentation.
A few minutes later, one of the girls developed an itch on the inside of her arm. Her neighbor volunteered to scratch it. It only took a few minutes for the room to turn into a communal scratching post.
I was a little creeped out about the whole thing until my husband a) made me watch a video of gorillas picking fleas off other gorillas' backs on the Internet and b) reminded me of the time when I got kicked out Home Ec for "tickling" my friend's arm when I should have been watching the teacher make meatloaf. In my defense, I was only returning the favor: my friend tickled my arm throughout a school assembly earlier that day. My teacher said that whatever we were doing, it made her feel uncomfortable.
I didn't understand what the teacher meant then, but now I kind of do.
My husband said, "What goes around, comes around."