Tuesday, October 21, 2008

My Sensitive Side

From the time I was little, I have always been pretty sensitive. I admit that I cry at things that most people don't. Here are a few examples from my past to illustrate that this has been occurring throughout my life. When I was about 4 yrs old, I watched the cartoon version of Frosty the Snowman and when he melted, I just started bawling and climbed behind a toy cabinet where my mom came and found me and asked "What's wrong?" and I replied "Frosty melted and she lost her friend." My mom tried to comfort me saying "He'll be back again next year" but it really didn't work. I had a hard time watching that show after that. Flash forward ahead several years until I was probably about 16. Nearly every year, my family has gone to a movie later on Thanksgiving Day with my cousins. This particular year, we saw Flubber- the remake of the classic Absent Minded Professor. For those who have seen the film, there is this little computer machine who is the assistant of the Professor and she is actually in love with him, but he just considers her to be a friend. Later on, she then saves his life and ends up dying. I start bawling and my little 8 year old cousins sitting next to me start making fun of me saying "It's just a machine, Cheryl. You don't need to cry" to which I reply "But she had feelings". This is similarly how I felt with ET and Short Circuit.

And you would think this sensitive, sentimental side would get better as I get older. I actually think that it maybe getting worse. The latest example happened this past Friday night. I was folding laundry and watching the show "Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader". I really don't watch this show, but wanted something to keep me entertained. This school superintendent was on from Georgia and she said from the beginning that any money she won would go her district to help improve education for the kids. She kept winning- talking through her answers and then getting them right. She got up to the question that if she got it right, she would win a million dollars AND be the first person on the show to do it. However, if she got it wrong, she would only get $25,000. She could walk away at this very moment with $500,000- a LOT of money that would be very helpful for the school. This educator thought about it, and then said the most profound answer- "I have always encouraged kids to stay in school and so I can't 'drop out of school now' and take the money because what kind of example would that be setting for them. Yeah, here's where I started crying because this woman was not thinking about herself, but about the impact that her actions might set for others. She got the question right- it was about who was the longest reigning British monarch (Queen Victoria)- and became the 1st person to say that she is smarter than a 5th grader . . . . And what better example could there be than this woman who truly practices what she preaches.

So, while this was a very powerful, touching story for me, I still think that it is kind of funny that I cried during "Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader". Just one more story to add to my previous archive- and I'm sure that there will be even more unique ones to come

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