What did you say?

September 28, 2012|Lisa Prejean

I've been having a little trouble with my hearing lately.

This has become evident by the quizzical stares I receive after responding to someone's statement or question.

Last week, one of my students thought I was off my rocker at the beginning of school when I responded to his comment with, "Well, I missed you, too!"

He looked at me and said, "What? Mrs. Prejean, I said I have to tie my shoe."

Oh. I thought he had missed being in my class since the day before and had said, "Mrs. Prejean, I missed you."

You. Shoe. You can hear it, can't you? Don't those two words sound alike? C'mon. Be on my side.

At a tournament over the weekend, all of the parents were snapping photos of the volleyball players as they celebrated a victory. I tend to be oblivious in these moments of most things: How to operate my camera, what items are falling out of my hands, and which people I am standing before.

Is it any wonder why I would think that one of my students would tell me I was in the way?

Middle-age mother, fumbling with camera, clumsily dropping personal items, while stepping in front of other moms in the same predicament.

"You're in the way, Mrs. Prejean!" is what I heard.

"I'm sorry," was my reply as I stepped back, out of the way of other photographers.

The look on my student's face revealed that my ears were at it again.

"You told me I was in the way, right?" I asked her.

She just shook her head and said, "No, I said, ‘I love you, Mrs. Prejean!' "

Wow. That mess up really made me feel bad.

The player was actually expressing her joy at the instruction I gave them: Bring your pillows to class on Monday. (After the students took a four-page grammar test, they were allowed to put their heads on their pillows and close their eyes.)

Most of them only had about five minutes of shut-eye, but it was a great reward for their hard work over the weekend.

Let's see. " ... in the way" and "I love you."

Don't even ask where I got that one. I couldn't tell you.

It most likely came from the same place where I heard, "They probably won't get a scholarship for that."

"No, they probably won't," I replied.

My friend looked at me with a very confused expression on her face.

Oh, boy, I had done it again.

"Would you mind repeating what you just said?" I asked.

My friend took a step closer and repeated herself.

"I said, 'They probably can get a scholarship for that,' " my friend said.

But of course that was what she said. How could I doubt her?

If only my ears would follow suit.

Lisa Tedrick Prejean writes a weekly column for The Herald-Mail's Family page. Send e-mail to her at

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