Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Red Tulip with a Green Stem

Excitedly, the bright-eyed five-year-old entered her kindergarten classroom the first day of school. Her teacher passed out paper and crayons, announcing that they were going to draw flowers. "Good!" thought the little girl. She picked out her favorite color and began to draw.

The teacher was at her side in an instant. "No, No! Put your crayon down and wait for me to tell you what to do," she said. The to the whole class she gave instructions. They were to draw a tulip. It was to look like the example she drew on the board. The flower was to be colored red, the stem green. The little girl turned her paper over and did as she was told.

Some time later, her family moved to a new house, and she began to attend a different school. One day, the teacher announced that they were going to draw flowers. She passed out the paper, and the children took out there crayons. Everyone else began to draw, but the little girl waited quietly for instructions.
"Why aren't you drawing?" asked the teacher.

"You haven't told me what I am supposed to draw yet," she answered.
"You can draw any kind of flower you want. Use your imagination. It's all up to you."
The little girl sat for a long time. Then she picked up her crayons and drew a red tulip with a green stem.
[Author unknown]

1 comment:

Emily said...

I relate to this story a lot. When I was a little kid, I had a teacher who treated me horribly every day for a year. As a class, we once decorated a bag for an adult who helped our class. We were each allowed to draw a flower and sign our name. I drew a tall, skinny, red daisy. After everyone signed the bag, the teacher called me over to her desk and showed me the bag. "How is your daisy different than everyone else's?" she said, in a voice that told me something was wrong. I was stumped--and deeply frightened. I made a few guesses before she said, "You drew yours too tall. If everyone drew theirs that tall, there wouldn't be enough room." I felt both terrible for doing it wrong, and confused that somehow everyone else knew to make short flowers even though she didn't say anything about it beforehand!

Sometimes even know, when I'm frustrated with all the pressure on me, I'll find some paper and draw a tall, skinny daisy. It looks pretty, but it's also my secret code for I AM ME and I can do this my own way.