Hate Mail

I received hate mail from redbatshoes and oobergoobergreengirl today b/c of comments I made about whoever asked for info about reading Elie Wiesel's book NIGHT recently.  I admit I was harsh in assuming that perhaps the questioner had a homework assignment based on this book and wanted someone to tell her what it was about.  As someone who taught English for 25 years and even taught that book, I reacted to what I perceived as "cheating."  First of all, I feel that the book is a VERY important item for young people to read, so that they know first hand what it was like to survive the Holocaust.  It is not a hard book to read, it is short, and in my opinon, gripping in it's reality. The assignment was to describe ONE incident in the book that was vivid, moving, touching -- pick your verb.  Theoretically, one would not even have to read the whole book.  You could open it almost anywhere and find something powerful and poignant.  The teacher obviously wanted the students to relate emotionally to one of the tragic, horrendous incidents.  I am retired now, and have far less patience with those who don't want to expend any effort in the learning process.  Not just by reading, but by thinking deeply, feeling and then writing about it.  Why else would you write to EP and ask if anyone else read it and what incident did s/he think was moving?  So, I basically said what I have said here and called the questioner a slacker.  That was rude.  I apologize for calling her that.  If the original asker had written to me directly, said yes, I read it, but wanted to know what others thought, and you hurt my feelings by saying that,  I would have apologized directly to her for being harsh and judgmental.  But why didn't you just trust your individual abilities and write what you personally thought w/o any input from others?  That was the assignment.  If you get several opinions from others, they will affect your judgment, and YOUR ideas will now be contaminated and no longer your unique creation.  

However, redbat and oobergoober had to go to bat for the original writer, call me old (Hey, I am!), judgmental (I was.) and say other tacky things.  Perhaps b/c we are talking about young high school people here, they didn't have the guts to allow me to respond to them directly.  They both blocked all means of communication with them, altho their comments were done on my whiteboard, not in a private comment.  So be it.  Therefore, I used the basic instrument of the site to respond.  I had already had second thoughts about being harsh and critical.  If I could have found the writer quickly, I would have apologized and explained why I reacted that way directly.  I do request my other friends to read what was written (if they can find it!), as well as the hate mail and this.  I deserved a reprimand.  I got it.  Girls, if you are brave enough to stand up for someone (an admirable trait), be brave enough to take any flak that comes back and not cower behind artificial shields. 

LunarPanda LunarPanda
66-70, F
8 Responses Mar 6, 2009

I do think part of my initial reaction was b/c of the partical book involved. When students felt overwhelemed by Slakespeare or some other deep writer, not of their own era, I could understand better. But Weisel's Night is such an emotionally gripping work, so clearly expressed, I always had problems with those who had not even tried to read it b/c they were lazy. And it is so relevant to our time and events that are even now happening somewhere. I just jumped the gun and reacted. These were good kids reacting to an unfair comment about someone they cared about. At least we got it all straightened out and understood where each one was coming from. I learned a good lesson and perhaps they did too.

Hey, I wouldn't have done that when I was in my first years of high school :o<br />
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I know some things really are more likely to happen because of young age and that's how it is - but I believe the problem usually also lies in the kid's role models and personality. I have seen older people (either in college or far past school age) do that exact same thing (to me, actually). So I can relate, but I can relate in a way that I think it's not so much related to age as to one's ability to accept consequences of their own actions. But, I digress.<br />
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I remember asking for homework help on the Internet - but usually I was asking either a close friend, or asking a site only after I had done research and found nothing. There are just so many resources online and offline, I don't see a point in asking a question on sites where the answer may just not come.<br />
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I also feel I really get where you're coming from. When one does a certain job or activity for a long time, they may become more desensitized to certain things, but often they just become more sensitive. That's how I became very sensitive to poor grammar and cutting poems, working as a greeter on a site where a lot of teens come to write such stuff and get "OMGwow" comments. :p And that was just about 2 years - can't begin to imagine the impact of 25 years seeing the same pet peeves, the same types of negligence, etc...

Of course, Oober! Defending one's sister is a noble act, but you were fierce! I think we all over reacted for various reasons and assumed too much. Have made peace with the other two Musketeers LOL and glad to with you! they explained about the underage blocking. Another conclusion that I jumped to. I'm not usually that bad, but I was jumping like a kangaroo that night. LOL Glad to have you in my circle! Peace, out. LP

Of course, Oober! Defending one's sister is a noble act, but you were fierce! I think we all over reacted for various reasons and assumed too much. Have made peace with the other two Musketeers LOL and glad to with you! they explained about the underage blocking. Another conclusion that I jumped to. I'm not usually that bad, but I was jumping like a kangaroo that night. LOL Glad to have you in my circle! Peace, out. LP

Lunar Panda. I'm sure I overreacted, but that's my baby sister. I'd do anything for her, and when I heard something about you telling her she'd cause the next holocaust, I got defensive. I'm sorry for the low-blows, and I apologize for the harsh words said. Just trying to protect my sister because I love her. I am, however, glad that you apologized to her. <br />
Truce?<br />
The Oober Goober.

It's OK. Your friend explained above that it was probably blocked b/c you are under 18. I think there was a lot of jumping to conclusions on all our parts. Maybe it was just the wrong time of the month! I was rude and that is out of my usual character, altho I am known for saying what i think w/o thinking sometimes. I am glad that we got it straightened out tho. I do think it was admirable for you and the other girl to stick for her! that takes guts, esp when you are dealing with adults who may be old grumpy farts! LOL So, yes, we have a truce. Thanks for letting me hear yiour side too.

bravo! Luv good endings

Thank you for commenting directly, Couldntit. I really appreciate that. As I said in the writing above, I was wrong, judgmental,rude and harsh. I think Dubiousone expressed why I jumped to a conclusion very well. Please accept that I don't usually do that, but sometimes I just react too quickly when it's something I care about. <br />
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I am glad that you have people who will stick up for you. That speaks highly of you. However, blocking a response was rather immature of them. I can understand that. They didn't want a critical, judgmental rude reply! LOL Hope we have a truce now anyway. I'll try not to over react to the statements of others.