Easy As Falling Off A Bike pt 2846

The Daily Dormouse.
(aka Bike, est. 2007)
Part 2846
by Angharad

Copyright© 2015 Angharad

  
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This is a work of fiction any mention of real people, places or institutions is purely coincidental and does not imply that they are as suggested in the story.
*****

“That’s better.” I said reading the letter that Trish had typed on her computer. “Right you can go and write that on a card—use your fountain pen.”

“Why can’t I just print it off?”

“Because I told you to handwrite it.”

“Why?”

“Why did I tell you?”

“Yes, why did you tell me to go and write it with a pen?”

“Because it becomes more personalised and therefore has more value to the recipient.”

“What you mean if she can’t read it, it becomes more valuable?”

“No. It takes longer to write a letter by hand than it does to type one these days, because you have to take care not to make mistakes.”

“That’s dumb.”

“Is it? There is nothing nicer to receive than a neatly written card or letter especially in this age of texting and twitter or whatever they call it. Your teacher will know it took time to do and appreciate it.”

“But that’s so dumb.”

“It isn’t. People of your age are losing the skill to write, they have electronic gadgets for everything which is fine providing you can function without them. They all have a habit of breaking down when it’s least convenient.”

“Mine don’t.”

“Are you going to disagree with everything I say?”

“No.”

I shook my head.

“What did I do now?” she said loudly.

“What did I say to you?”

“You asked if I’d disagree with what you said.”

“And?”

“I said no I wouldn’t.”

“That might have been implied but you actually said, ‘No’. Thereby disagreeing with me.”

“You’re always doing that to me, trapping me.”

“Now you know how Sister Virginia feels.”

“Grrr,” she said and went off to write her note, grumbling because I told her I wanted to see it before she sealed it. I knew she had some notelets because I got them all some at Christmas.

She may have a bigger IQ than Einstein but I’m more experienced and sneakier at outmanoeuvring people—it’s part of being a woman when dealing with people who are otherwise going to oppose me or could possibly use physical force to win their arguments. It just means thinking sideways and keeping one step ahead. I was also a better chess player than I made out so if made to play, I have an element of surprise to use. Normally I refuse to play, now you can see why.

This might all sound Machiavellian but I have a houseful of young women who I’m here to guide into adulthood, I have to stay one step ahead or they’ll run rings around me. If it happens once, it’ll happen all the time. My role is as the alpha female and I intend on keeping it that way not because of ego but because they need me to be there until they’re independent. Trish might be super bright, a real supernova, but it’s my job to help her control that intelligence and remain human, because our humanity is our greatest possession. It enables us to empathise and to feel compassion. It has negatives like anger, jealousy and greed but in learning to control those negatives we mature as people, as men and women and I hope realise what the good things in life are really about. The best things in life are free but sometimes they need a bit of effort to develop them.

Trish’s effort with her pen was good and I told her so. I also announced that all of them had to practice writing every day, so suggested they should keep a journal. They all grumbled but agreed, so I ordered a box load of diaries and pens online. It might sound a bit double standards, but my own writing is nothing special—just about legible but quite rounded—I was accused of it being girly when I was in school, so I started adding hearts instead of the dot over an i. I got sent to old Murray because of it. He insisted I should write like it all the time so people could see what a deviant I was. Thankfully it died a death, mainly because it took too long to keep up.

The next day after more teaching and cramming my own stuff into a couple of hours I was tired when I arrived at the school to collect my tribe of amazons. Sister Maria nabbed me and we snuck off to her office where like two conspirators she looked outside before quickly closing the door.

“I don’t know what you said to Trish last night but Sister Virginia is delighted with the card she received.”

I shrugged. “I simply told her a few facts of life that she wouldn’t eat again until she wrote a decent card in her own handwriting apologising to her teacher.”

“Wouldn’t eat—come now, I know starving her into submission would never work because you’re too kind a person to do that. So what did you say to her?”

“I explained the difference between knowledge and wisdom, not that I have much of either, but as long as she thinks I’m cleverer than her, she’ll toe the line.”

“Lady Cameron, people don’t get PhDs for being stupid and most professors I know are extremely bright.”

“I’m only an acting professor, remember, not the real thing and every rule have exceptions that prove it.”

“Okay, I accept that you’re the exception—I’d say exceptional in every way. Please don’t deprecate yourself, you’re one of the nicest and cleverest women I know. Thank you for what you did with Trish, we all appreciate it—on the teaching staff, that is.”

“I dread her becoming a teenager.”

“Sadly it’s the pupa before the butterfly emerges, it has to happen.”

“I know, even I, one of the most compliant girls on the planet chose at times to stand up to my father or just be plain awkward.”

“You were also a creditable Lady Macbeth—remember I’ve seen the write up in the Bristol paper. I’m glad to hear you talk about your girlhood—you’re actually owning who you are including your past.”

“Yes, I’m acknowledging it a little more easily. Oh, I’ve told the girls that they will each keep a journal every day to practice their handwriting.”

“What a good idea—some of these girls hardly ever pick up a pen, doing their homework on a computer or iPad thing.”

“I tried to explain to Trish that a handwritten letter is the most effective personal communication there is—for most of us, anyway.” Okay so Sibelius got an orchestra to play for his wife to wish her happy birthday first thing in the morning. I’ll stick to handwritten notes—of the word not treble clef sort.

I found Danielle and she rounded up the rest of the gang and we went home. When we got there I took Trish aside and said that Sister Virginia was pleased with her card.

“Yeah, I know.”

“Who told you?” I asked.

“Sister Maria, she said it was a lovely gift and she was sure it would help in Sister Vagina’s recovery. She also said it was neatly written.”

“How does that make you feel?”

“Okay, I guess—can I go now?”

“Uh yes, of course you can. Looked like I still had some work to do with her—perhaps when she gets to thirteen, I can get Oxford or Cambridge to take her for seven or eight years. Fat chance.”

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