Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Revenging References . . . Or Worse?

I was reminded of my own school days by Bad4's recent post regarding high school morahs tendency to ensure meek student diligence by threatening to bad-mouth them in the future. 

I will be blunt; my class was rather rowdy. If they weren't reigned in the first few days by a grim and steady-handed educator, then the rest of the year would not involve much book learning. I would spend my days silent and attentive, while my classmates' behavior echoed that of the chimp habitat. 

Resistance was futile (Borg reference). Any sort of objections I made were drowned out. 

With heels clicking, so entered Darth Morah. 

At that time, she was an unmarried female of indeterminate age; somewhere in her mid 20s, I believe. She taught classes through the various grades, and she managed to hold this one relatively in line. But as tales of woe spread about the teachers' lounge, she felt compelled to act for the greater good. 

Girls who misbehaved in class, she informed us, in the somber tones of a ghost story, never married

She really should have flicked off the lights and held a flashlight to her face. 

Did you ever hear the story of the mean girl and the terrorized morah? Well, when the mean girl got older, she wondered why she wasn't married yet. She went to a rabbi who asked her if she ever did anybody wrong, and she thought of (for some reason) her high school teacher. 

She called up the teacher to ask her forgiveness . . . and the teacher wouldn't give it

Shivers, anyone? 

My class was, rather entertainingly, scared spitless. They proceeded to draw up a binding document on looseleaf paper, requesting pardon for previous crimes and a promise to behave in the future, which was solemnly signed by each student. 

They flourished the document under my nose for signature. 

I refused. 

Due to their new understanding of the world, they reminded me that I wouldn't get married. 

I retorted that unlike them, I never misbehaved. 

They shook their heads sadly at my folly, and walked away to leave me to my single fate. 

Approximately 72 hours later, the class returned to pandemonium. 

On top of the fact that they were grossly disrespecting their elders, my class was now guilty of breaking a neder, one that had been placed in writing. 

Oddly enough (shocker!) the transgressors are married. Happily, I cannot say. But despite Darth Morah's doom-saying, they did wed.

Is my single state, perversely, due to the fact that I would not apologize for doing nothing wrong? 

I think not.


Devorah Maven said...

Darth Morah ROTFL!!!!!I could hear the music!

Anonymous said...

Well put with the Darth Morah.

Seriously though... who uses high school references these days? It's all about your Israel rabbi/rebbitzon... or perhaps when you're post 20, you use actual friends, family-friends, or anyone else that actually knows you more recently.

I can imagine my high school class rabbi being used as a reference and I can see what he would say right now, "JWG, why isn't that the really fat kid, with big glasses, and lots of hair?? oh yes he was chunky, that one. I suppose his midos were ok. His learning could have been better if only he'd concentrate more."

No thanks... I rather reference people that know me currently as I am now. Young, professional, active, involved, and healthy. Maybe my learning could use some work, but nobody is perfect, I'll always be a work in progress.

Princess Lea said...

I never used former educators for references, but some really enterprising mothers find out which high school and make some calls.

Sometimes people who I haven't seen in forever come up to me and say, "Someone called up asking about you!" How in the world did they make the connection? I have no idea. They are scary, some of these mommies.

Anonymous said...

Those moms are nuts.

I once was with a friend when a woman called him for a reference for me. She started asking all sorts of crazy questions, am I on drugs, have I ever done drugs, do I drink, etc...

She asked a lot more inappropriate questions.

I called the shadchan a few minutes later and told her I wouldn't be going out with the girl. I couldn't deal with such a crazy mother. To me it's a deal breaker.

Shadchans that refer me, are my reference. If they can't vouch for me then they shouldn't be setting me up. (my rule with local shadchans... non-local I understand the reason for references).

Just for the record, I'm one of the most straight arrowed guys out there that has never done any crazy things. Had I a background for crazy things I would understand if there was possibly a reputation that the mother was investigating... but no this was totally out of the blue. Again a deal breaker.

Princess Lea said...

I go the same way - if someone is redding me, I should be "good enough" for coffee, right? Why do I have to constantly prove myself to strangers?