Here We Go Again
by Mariann E. Danko
They say history repeats itself until the lessons we need to learn are learned.
Personally, I believe this is true. Generally because we don’t either consciously acknowledge there is a lesson to be learned in the first place. Or, we refuse to change the behavior that triggered the problem, even when we know it will help.
I see this too often with my Son for both reasons. And, sometimes because he just won’t listen to Mom’s suggestion as to how to remedy the problem that has arisen, which could sort of fall into the “refusing to change behavior.”
This is the very reason I find myself repeating similar themes periodically. It is a vicious cycle.
We just went through this during the last marking period. My Son, with permission from his teacher, chose to use his personal copy of the book they were reading in English. Early on though, there were some red flags. Red flags signaling it might be best to also get one of the school’s versions of the book to at least keep at home as back up and reference.
The night of the first assignment related to the book, my Son forgot his copy of the book in his locker. Why? He had taken it to school earlier to get approval to use and decided to store it his locker. His locker can become the black hole, so “storing” anything in it is never a good idea.
Next came poor communication between him and his teacher. Freaked out about forgetting the book, my Son emailed the teacher. Now I did not see her response, but based on what my Son stated, he only needed to track down a bio on the writer and he would be fine.
Note, while waiting for the teacher’s response, I suggested my Son look for a free copy of the book online because the book was no longer under copyright. He declined for more ridiculous reasons then I care to include, but when he got a response from the teacher, he was content with what the teacher told him and felt it wasn’t necessary.
Add to this, had he checked the teachers website, as I also suggested, he would have discovered that he most certainly needed more than a bio. Plus, there was a link to not only a pdf of the book, but also an audio copy.
Needless to say, when he took the test the next day, he was not prepared and did poorly, which lead to the end of the world drama I wrote about last month.
Fast forward to the end of the marking period and a shaky English grade looming in the wings.
The assignment was to read Chapter 24, the last chapter, which they would then take a test on the next day. As my Son is reading his copy of the book, he realizes there is a chapter beyond 24. Again he contacts the teacher, asking if in addition to 24, he should read the epilogue. The teacher responds with only Chapter 24.
When he takes the test the next day, he finds he has no clue how to answer half the questions. He blames it on the fact that he’s overtired and just had no recall.
Turns out that was not the case, as he discovers while working on the homework assignment related to Chapter 24.
When we check the pdf of the book linked to the teachers website, this copy does not have an epilogue. What my Son referred to, as an “epilogue” is actually part of Chapter 24. That means my Son’s copy of the book is very much laid out differently. I would have thought using the word “epilogue” would have been a red flag for the teacher, unfortunately it was not.
This puts my Son, who is suffering from severe sleep deficit, into a tailspin. Not only did he do poorly on another test, he also now needs to read an additional 14 pages in order to complete the assignment.
Deep inside I was feeling an “I told you so.” but that was not the time.
Once my Son had some dinner, he got a second wind and jumped into completing his homework to the best of his abilities based on the new info.
A conversation with the teacher the next day regarding the whole “epilogue” debacle gets him a second shot at redemption in regards to his test grade. She allows him to retake the back half of the test.
This time my Son got lucky, but this won’t always be the case, especially in college.
Could this all have been avoided?
I believe so, had my Son taken my advise regarding a digital copy of the book and checking the teacher’s website. This wasn’t the first time my Son did not want to heed my advice however, but I do hope after this one he has learned that sometimes Mom is right.
Trust me, I didn’t use this story just to prove this point, but to address the issue of learning from our mistakes. Changing our behavior or the way we think is never easy, but sometimes it is essential for survival. So, when history repeats itself, it’s most definitely the universe telling us it’s time to examine ourselves in order to find the root cause of the problem, and figure out how to prevent it from happening again.
Not that we will, sometimes we need to be hit with a 2 x 4 (figuratively) before we admit it’s time to change. And if it’s hard for adults to admit they need to make adjustments, imagine how hard it is for a teenager who is still maturing.
Now, I’ve been pondering what examples, whether it be fiction or non-fiction, to use when addressing this issue with my Son. Lord knows my Son doesn’t want me to reiterate the trail of repeated mistakes he traveled last marking period.
As always, I turned to “The Walking Dead.” I thought about Rick’s (Andrew Lincoln) underestimating Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and the Saviors, which he also did with the Governor (David Morrissey). In both situations, lives were lost.
Could this have been avoided?
Not necessarily with the Governor, particularly because he disappeared and reappeared, and Rick had nothing previously to base things on.
With Negan though, yes. Negan, just like the Governor, covets what others have and will stop at nothing to get it. In addition, the fact that he wielded immense control and invoked fear over the Hilltop community should have been a red flag to Rick. It was obvious there was more to him than was being told by Gregory (Xander Berkeley.)
Granted, Rick’s band of survivors were in a desperate situation in regards to food and supplies, but by not pausing and thinking about the what if’s, more lives were lost and their situation became dire.
Had Rick taken into consideration all that transpired with the Governor when going up against Negan, I’m quite sure he would have found a better way to deal with their food and supply situation than the deal to kill in trade for food.
I pondered if I used this example, would my Son get what I was getting at in regards to lessons to be learned?
Which is why I think when lessons need to be learned, it has to be personal. We can’t learn from someone else’s mistakes, they have to be our own. We might see it happening, but until it happens to us, we don’t get it.
SO, as we face a new marking period and new book to be read, a new lesson to be learned has reared its ugly head. Plan ahead, don’t just look at what’s due tomorrow.
But, this can be a subject for another post.
Until then, I hope the universe is good to you and all life’s lessons are simple and painless.
© Mariann E. Danko and Waking the Walker, 2017. All rights reserved.
Reader – Copyright: <a href=’https://www.123rf.com/profile_engraver’>engraver / 123RF Stock Photo</a>
Change – Copyright: <a href=’https://www.123rf.com/profile_bagwold’>bagwold / 123RF Stock Photo</a>
Bridge – Copyright: <a href=’https://www.123rf.com/profile_rgbspace’>rgbspace / 123RF Stock Photo</a>
TWD Photo courtesy of AMC