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I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Monday, September 12, 2011

Like yourself

I have this student.

First class last term we were talking about the job hunting process. She commented that "well I know this isn't fair but I am probably going to have an advantage, you know, because of my looks. I hate to say it, but being attractive makes a difference."

I kept on my best teacher face but I remember thinking to myself that I hadn't actually considered this girl really attractive. Eyes a little close together maybe, nose a little big, a few pounds, and well those were sort of knock knees...there were far, far prettier girls in the class. I was taken aback a bit by her comment.

Over the course of the term I got to know this student. I eventually realized that there wasn't any vanity involved, no stuck up ego, it's just that somewhere along the line she had been brought up to just like herself. She enjoyed herself, she could laugh at herself. As student, and not a particularly good student, she had a great attitude. Nearly fail her, and I would get an email back "Great feedback Barb, really appreciate the trouble you took to explain this to me. Now I know what I need to do." And you know, the next assignment I saw she actually had taken it all to heart and I could see the changes she made. 

You just couldn't get this kid down. Unlike nearly everyone her age somehow this girl understood how not to take it personally, it was my comments on the work, not on her.

By the end of the term I started to notice things. How this student was always so well-groomed, well-dressed, good appropriate make-up, she took care of herself. She just took care of herself.

Last class I took her aside and told her that when she went job hunting I would give her a reference.

Not that she might need it, such an attractive girl already has an edge.


Texan said...

I love it! Good for her and good for you!

Shannon said...

I loved reading this - this is what every mother (and father) should want their daughter to become. Kudos to her.

Janine said...

This is great - alot of us really are too hard on ourselves with no good reason and no real benefits.

Barb-Central Texas said...

I was feeling down this evening. Your post made me smile and feel good about the world.

Martha said...

Wonderful uplifting story. Thanks for sharing it. It almost makes me wish I wasn't retired from teaching. Almost.

Karin said...

Great post!

Shelly said...

Good on her for letting the real 'her' show through. Definitely a geat attribute. Her parents have done a fantastic job in grooming her to be a well presented woman. She must be such a delight to know. Kudos to her!!

Psycho Sue- Sew Misunderstood said...


Anonymous said...

Great post! I wish I had been that smart and together at such a young age.

LinB said...

Yay! For your student, and for you. She already has a good sense of self worth. And her easy, forthright manner made you step back and assess your original impression of her, which bodes well for her future job success working with others.

Audrey said...

This young lady will go far with that wonderful attitude. Now how does a parent instill that type of attitude in their kid?

Susan said...


Sandra said...

THis should be required reading for all parents - how to give your kids the right attitude.
That girl will go far.

Jane M said...

Wow, what a terrific story and wonderful young woman. All of us, young and old, should approach life this way.