Thursday, February 26, 2009

Random Act of Kindness

I had the pleasure of being able to do a good deed today, and I can’t keep quiet about it. I know I should, but I just have to share. Please forgive my vanity.

During my lunch break, I dropped off some parcels at the Post Office and was approached by an elderly woman. Obviously in moderate distress, she held out a handwritten note, as if to give it to me.

“Excuse me,” she began, “I’m trying to find this business, and I’ve driven all over but just can’t seem to find the address.” She handed me the note.

She was much closer to her destination than she realized: the building was less than a quarter of a mile from the Post Office. I asked her to walk outside with me, so I could point out the exact building to her as I told her where to go, where to turn to enter the parking lot, etc. I thought it might be helpful to assure her that with all the new construction in the area, we all find ourselves getting a bit turned around from time to time, and frequently have to backtrack or call for further directions. This seemed to have the desired effect of calming her concerns.

I turned back to her after telling her where to go, and the look on her face immediately told me that “exit the Post Office parking lot there [pointing], turn left and proceed to that traffic light [pointing], go left again and immediately enter the parking lot on your right [pointing]” had been lost on her. She looked confused and more alarmed than before.

Unable to simplify the blatantly obvious any further than I’d already done, and having a few minutes available, I politely (and I think generously) offered to show her.

“Would you like to follow me over there in your car?”

Her face lit up, “Oh, could I? That would be so kind of you!”

I got into my car and waited for her to pull up behind me. We arrived at her destination in less time than it has taken you to read this far.

I smiled and waved to her as I began to exit the parking lot, and she walked over to shake my hand through my open passenger window.

“Thank you so much!” she said, her elation quickly turning into a frown as she looked away. “I just hope I can find my way back out of here...”

At that moment I realized what had to be done, so I called 911 and had her detained for a competency evaluation. So long as this woman was loose on the streets, driving at will, I felt she posed a danger to herself and others sufficient to justify involuntary commitment.

There it is – my good deed! One less crazy old bat behind the wheel. At least for the next 72 hours.

You’re welcome!

Your humble servant,
B. Freret

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Dr. Souder’s Paper Grading Comment Bank

My oldest is in his second semester of college, and was kind enough to forward these actual comments made on English papers last semester:

“Great improvement – at times almost understandable”

“Nearly magnificent: you just need some creativity and skill”

“It is ‘Suki,’ not ‘Sucky’”

“I agree that ‘Vagina Whisperer’ would be a great sequel to ‘Vagina Monologues,’ but don’t stray from your original theme”

“Once again – it is nuclear [noo-klee-er]”

"You can't handle the truth"

“Mr. Strunk and Mr. White would be appalled”

“I believe you meant ‘pissy’ not ‘pithy,’ but I underthand the mithtake”

“Try using ‘scrotum’ in place of ‘nutsack’”

“Conceivable that this is the work of a bipedal hominid”

“Let me say this in a way that you will understand: your failing”

“I know that you are from Ohio, but have you ever considered taking an ESL course?”

“He was born in Orel, Russia, not Oral”

“For the last time, Ms. Hilton, your films are not literature”

“While the ‘DaVinci’ font may be a legitimate stylistic choice, I am unwilling to use a mirror to grade your paper”

“Better, but next time try not to be such an imbecile”

“Is this the product of small animals scampering across a computer keyboard?”

Respectfully, I remain
B. Freret