I was in the grocery store earlier this week. I have a habit of going down every aisle just to make sure I don’t miss any hidden bargains. Going to the store is an adventure since COVID. When I get to the register I place my items to be scanned on the counter; it never fails I have to put a few things back. As the young woman began checking the items, I said, “I’m sorry I don’t need the celery.” She looked at me and picked up a bunch of collard greens. I thought to myself maybe she didn’t hear me. “Ms. I don’t need the celery.” She looked at me then she started putting her hand on other vegetables on the counter; as if to say is this the celery. This young woman didn’t have a clue what a stalk of celery is. The teacher in me kicked in. I was on a mission to make sure that she could identify all of my vegetables. It took everything in me to stop myself from going back to the produce section to assemble enough vegetables for a class. But suffice it to say, I did have a mini class with what I had. After the lesson, was over the young woman looked at me with a timid smile, mission accomplished she had learned her vegetables.
I left the store with one question. Who failed? I understand knowing the names of vegetables is not that big of a deal, but it said to me if she missed something as simple as knowing the names of vegetables; are there other gaps in her learning? You would imagine that at some point in her young life someone would have taken her to the store to shop for groceries, But then God reminded me of an incident a few weeks ago. My son came by with a large envelope that he didn’t have a clue how to address to mail a letter. When I asked him why didn’t he know how to address an envelope he said, “I’ve never had a reason to mail a letter.” So I asked myself, did I fail? My son did what he always does, ask an older person; the same thing for the checker in the grocery store. I’m glad they both felt comfortable enough to ask me for assistance. Better still it gave me a chance to do what I love to do: teach.