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On Disappointments: A Personal Essay

What I noticed at the gathering was that the adults were the ones encouraging her to talk about her A, whereas she was more interested in helping with the cooking and playing with the smaller kids. I also noticed that when the adults talked with me about my report card, they said things like, "Oh, that's very nice." However, they saved their real enthusiasm for my cousin's report card. It was quite obvious.

Later, on the way home, I complained to my mother that, actually, my feelings were hurt because nobody seemed to care about my report card. "Really, she's not as good as I am in school," I said. At that point my mother became upset with me and said, "Well, so what? Your cousin may not be as good in school as you are, but everybody appreciates her for her knowledge, both academic and nonacademic." I took that the wrong way and asked if they didn't appreciate me. My mother said that of course they loved me but that talking about what I learned and what I knew all the time could get boring to some people. "It's like you're not interested in anybody else but only in telling people what you know." She told me that I shouldn't be as ignorant as I had been about commonsense things.

This was a bolt out of the blue, and I was at first upset to hear what I was being told, especially by my mother. But privately, I began to realize that I was often showing off my knowledge and could be a bore. Thus I made a resolutio


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