I used to consider myself to be a very polite and well mannered person, but being polite is a very subjective and culturally dependent thing. One person's abruptness is another person's perfectly acceptable manner.
I've been that abrupt brute many times, and I had no idea that I was being rude until much later.
I was very rude at dinner parties in China for a long time. When raising my glass to toast, I would just clink my glass up high and say 'gan bei' like I thought everyone else was doing. Except then, I started to notice that when other people would clink their glasses, each person would lower their glass a little more than the other, often until they were both practically down on the floor. What are they doing? A friend explained to me that it shows respect if you put your glass a little lower than the other person's. What?! This entire time I had been happily raising my glass up the highest when toasting with others! Showing them that I thought more highly of myself - unbeknownst to myself! I immediately adjusted my glass clinking style from then on.
In Japan, I was rude on trains. It's considered rude to speak loudly on trains. Also eating on a train in Japan is considered rude. I had no idea. I would laugh out loud and talk happily with my friends on our way home from work. It took me more than a few train rides to realise the error of my ways.
In France, I grated on a lot of people's nerves. When I bumped into someone I knew, I would say hi to them then stand there casually and start a conversation. Super casual - that's me. I thought I was being perfectly delightful. Later on, I found out that people found me rude because I didn't fait la bise (when French people kiss each other on the cheeks as a greeting). Oops! I knew about la bise, but I often forgot to do it unless they initiated it first. I had been living there are year - so they weren't going to make any exceptions for me.
I live on the Indonesian island of Java now, have been for three years. Javanese people rarely ever shout or complain, even if they have something to complain about. If they have a need to complain, they will do so very tactfully and with charm. I'm still working on this one...
I don't consider myself a polite person any more. I have my version of being polite, largely based on where I come from. These days, if I think someone is being rude, I think again; "Are they being rude, or do I think that they are being rude?". Maybe they are being polite, in their version of polite - just like I was.
reading posts from other slicers
realising that there are so many great ideas being shared
thinking how can I use those ideas with my class?
loving the comments that I'm receiving from my fellow slicers (thank you!)
wondering what my next slice will be
hoping I can complete this challenge
feeling like maybe I can
I got the idea for this format and lots of others in a post from Elisabeth Ellington.
It's Friday morning at 10:10. My reminder goes off on my phone. I've got playground duty at the climbing frame in ten minutes.
I put on my neon-green duty armband, grab my thermos of Korean tea and make my way down to the canteen. I order one chicken wrap. They always serve chicken wraps on Fridays - it's a favourite among us teachers.
The students are in the canteen eating their snack. They chat and laugh among themselves. The sound of children's voices bounce and vibrates off the walls. I get my wrap and stroll down to the bench where I have my duty. I know I can take my time because the students are still eating. As I walk away from the canteen, the sound of their voices gets further and further away; softer and softer, until it is a faint sound in the distance.
The playground is still. A precious moment of quite in a noise filled day. I sit down on the bench. Feel the warmth of the hot Jakarta sun. Take a deep breath. Relax. It's Friday.
It's 10:20, the bell rings for playtime and the students come charging down to the climbing frame. Quick finish your wrap. Duty calls.
My name is Caoimhe. I live in Indonesia. Having a name like Caoimhe is fine in Ireland, but you can run into trouble with it everywhere else. I've heard my name mispronounced many times in different places that I've been around the world. Perhaps you're wondering how to pronounce it right now...You may be thinking 'Cow-mee', or 'Kay-oh-mih-hay'. If your from Indonesia, you might think 'Chow-Oh-Mi'. Some people think it's Caomi (like Naomi).
At home in Ireland people get it straight away. That's because it's an Irish name. The phonics can sound confusing to some, but to us Irish - it makes perfect sense. Caoimhe: the feminine of Caoimhin. It means kind and gentle (hopefully I live up to the name - I'd like to think that I do - unless I'm tired and cranky...then I definitely don't!)
Think of Queen without the 'n', and then merge that with Diva without the 'd', and you get: Queeva. That's my name. Correction: that's how to pronounce my name. I'm not a diva and I don't act like a queen. Promise.
I'm so glad to have this name. Yes it's awkward to pronounce. Yes it's confusing at times. Yes it's got a red squiggly line under it when I type it into word. A colleague told me recently that he thinks that my parents threw a bunch of letters together and made up a name. Of course I quickly corrected him and we had a laugh about it. But that's why I'm glad I have it; people find it curious and we talk about it. It's the start of a conversation. It's a great ice-breaker when I meet new people. 'What's your name?' is not such a simple question. It's a whole story; or my first blog post!