Monday, February 02, 2009

Social Tip #14 - Criticism

My first trip to the principle's office was when I was five years old. It would have been avoided if I hadn't violated Dale Carnegie's first principle in How to Win Friends and Influence People - Don't criticize others.

When I was little I was sent to a private school for gifted children. Supposedly, an IQ test was administered before kids were accepted, and the students were taught at an advanced level, but I'm pretty sure it was just a regular kindergarten with a special name that appealed to parents. We weren't geniuses, but we were encouraged to believe we were. One of the geniuses showed me how to give myself a hickey on my arm. Another genius taught me to sing "Kentucky Fried Rat Legs, We do Rat Legs Right." I don't remember any of my classmates doing anything super extraordinary, except that one of them later became the fattest person I ever personally met.

One afternoon our teacher set about teaching us the vowels.
Teacher: Repeat after me, A, E, I, O, U, sometimes Y, and sometimes W
Me: W is not a vowel.
Teacher: Yes, it is. Sometimes it is.
Me: No, it isn't.
Teacher: Yes it is, Myka. Don't argue with your teacher.
Me: Fine. Then use it as a vowel in a word.
My mom had to come pick me up at the principal's office.
Mom: Why was Myka taken out of class?
Principal: She told the teacher she was smarter than her.
Mom: Well, was she?
I was back in class the next day. Criticism didn't win me any friends, but I'm pretty suwr it would be hard to inflwence people if I were using "W"s as vowls.

Here's the moral: criticism is allowed if you attend a genius school called "The Genius School."

I'm a chicken genius!

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