An Inescapable Impression

April 8, 2011
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The careless words thrown into the everyday classroom setting are of various standpoints, and hardly ever counted or kept record of. However, this can all change in the span of seconds if the words out of one’s mouth are of the unexpected nature. Victorian writer Alexander Pope understood this concept and admonished that “at ev’ry word a reputation dies.” Through every word and action given by an individual, the image of that person is shaped and molded to match the information that the individual is expressing. Through my own personal experiences with my freshman world geography teacher, this truth could not ring true enough.

I admired my world geography teacher to the utmost degree, seeing her as incredibly witty and kind. This idea of her was created through her gentle actions and kinds words with which she conducted her class. This all changed one fateful afternoon when a fellow freshman in my class asked her if she could get a desk out of the room next to hers, since her desk was apparently misplaced in the chaos of the precious day. My teacher, usually so gentle and mild, looked up angrily and grunted, “Must I do everything myself?!” and stomped out of the room. There was silence for a moment, and then suddenly a desk was hurled into the room, followed by my teacher. She glared around at all of the students, and then walked out of the classroom. She did not come back the day or the next, and never explained to us what had been wrong.

My beloved teacher had only spoken five words to us that day, but those words were so much more powerful that the hundred others she had spoken that they have been ingrained into my memory forever. I can also not even begin to count the thousands of words that have been spoken about that incident since, none of them positive. Thus, it is important to choose one’s words and actions wisely. Otherwise, the unkind or untrue messages received may overshadow any positive impression that one could possibly hope to make.

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