Do you repeatedly make the same discoveries about yourself?

Sometimes my mind grabs hold of an idea, and it just must be expressed. In general, I am not artistic, although I did take a drawing class a few years ago. I discovered in that class that I am excellent at drawing some shapes with charcoals. (Specifically: onions, apples, acorn squash, zucchini, and pumpkins–but not boxes, bananas, draped cloth, or buildings). Do you repeatedly make the same discoveries about yourself but they seem brand new? I do! When I took that art class I re-discovered the joy of creating. Just the simple joy of it.

Back when I was in 1st grade my grandparents gave me a box of 64 crayons~you know the one–it has a crayon sharpener BUILT IN to the box. Yeah—I was so ecstatic over that! (Not to mention the fact that it had a magenta crayon, a silver one, and a gold one–which I always thought about when we sang “Make new friends-but keep the old; some are silver and the others gold”. When I was a in 4th grade I found that I was great with cray-pas but lousy with colored pencils and water colors! You see, I loved the colors in the cray-pas–and my sloppiness was a plus with them—but a minus with colored pencils and watercolors (which always ended up muddy in my rushing).

Back to my point–I really did have a point! When I was in elementary school we were not permitted to use pens for anything until we became proficient at writing in cursive. You see, using a pen and regular filler paper were privileges. Until we were disciplined enough, we wrote with pencils on what we derisively called “baby paper”. yellow stripe paperI believe that late in 4th grade we graduated to pens.

Each year I was “over the moon” selecting my school supplies for the new year: filler paper and binder (oh which binder??), folders, notecards (color or white), and pencils (pictures, words, or plain). I usually just used whatever pens were around the house.

One year, though, my dad brought home a very, very, cool pen for me. He had picked it up on a business trip. This pen had~as I recall~ maybe 18 different colored ink cartridges  all in the same pen. You pushed a little colored lever, it made a click, and the ink cartridge that matched that lever popped down. The pen was fat and a bit barrel shaped so that it could hold all of those cartridges. It looked a bit like this photo (except that it was solid blue and had at least half as many cartridges). I had to try it out right away—click, new color–write some words. Repeat! WOW!!! I was amazed.

Gidget gets a pen, right? Although I was in 7th or 8th grade, I felt like this girl using that pen.

View a larger, more detailed picture of the 10-in-1 Multicolor Pen

It just made me so happy to be able to make different colors appear on my page with a click of my pen. I happily tucked it in my school bag to take to school the next day. I may have even skipped all the way there, barely containing my excitement at the prospect of using my pen. I imagined how it would brighten my teachers’ days to to see my pretty colored ink on my papers. I thought to myself “they probably get tired of just seeing blue or black ink” all the live-long day”!

Then it happened. I was in my history class and our teacher had us write an essay. I got out my pen and began to write. I had the amazing idea to write every word in a new color. Yes, that is brilliant–I said! I would write a word, then “CLICK” push a new color. Write a word, “CLICK”, and so on. I was having so much fun–and my essay was a sea of color. A few paragraphs later I noticed my teacher’s wingtips by my desk as I looked up from my writing. I glanced up at him ~ and he stretched out his hand.

Reluctantly I gave him my beautiful pen. He shook his head at me as sternly as he could ~ but his eyes were smiling. He understood. He still took my pen, but he understood. Unfortunately I finished the rest of my essay in either blue or black ink. I don’t think I alternated the colors at that point, though.

I never saw that pen again, but the joy of writing the multi-colored part of the essay remains with me to this day. I got more joy out of the use of the pen for my multi-colored essay that day than I would have in a lifetime of writing with that pen.

So what lesson did I learn that day? I learned many lessons:

  • Don’t use a noisy multi-colored pen when you are supposed to be writing a quiet essay ~ it distracts people.
  • I also learned that a multi-colored essay is beautiful ~ like a patchwork quilt made of words.
  • I learned that even though I had to give up my pen, it is still a happy memory. I was so full of joy I was almost laughing as I wrote that essay.
  • You really should have an endeavor or two that is so joyous and wondrous that it makes you want to laugh.
  • Finally ~ the lesson I learned that I keep learning? Pour your heart into it. Win or lose, it is worth it. Laugh, love, write in many colors~laugh with joy.
  • As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
  • And to read the larger context of this beloved teacher of mine, please read the next post! Looking at the comments after I posted the post above, so many of you came to my defense and came down hard on my teacher. Out of context, the action deserved the critique. But after you read the next post, you may see it differently.

About Kate Kresse

I love to write, I love to talk, I love to uplift people when I can. I am a woman in love with life. I am a wife, mom, tutor, writer, and I am a perennial optimist. (OK not every single minute but you get the point! :-)
This entry was posted in Heartwarming or humorous stories and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Do you repeatedly make the same discoveries about yourself?

  1. mlissabeth says:

    I love the last lesson, especially. Thanks for making me smile. 🙂

  2. Great post! The idea of many colours brings unique joy. I was recently facinated at the thought of how colours emerged. The creator of the universe is just amazing! 🙂

    • Kate Kresse says:

      I know! Gosh–look at the colors—fall colors, spring flowers, twinkly snow flakes and stars, different shades of grass and ocean water and fruit and veggies and sunset variations and reflections on the water and and and….oh gosh what a wonderful world!!

      • What a beauty really! Shades and blends, varieties and variation of intensities. Life really is beautiful, with all the colours that surround us. Such words as yours, allow us to consider appreciating and enjoying life’s beauty.

  3. Debbie says:

    I just love your warm, loving spirit, Kate!
    I can so picture your heart zooming along as you wrote each word in a new color!
    Good for you for taking the good from those memories and turning them into treasures! 😀

    • Kate Kresse says:

      I had a blast that day—and loved the look on my teacher’s face–struggling not to laugh with me at my goofiness. See today’s post—a tribute to this amazing teacher.

  4. Caddo Veil says:

    Oh I SO get this, Kate–loved the 64-crayolas, and new school supplies, and I had one of those pens too (but I don’t think it had more than 4 colors of ink…). My burning question is, “Did the teacher keep that pen? Not give it back after class???” I loved your list of lessons learned too! And by the by, one of the things I love about my blog upgrade, is that I can make colored words in my posts!!! God bless you abundantly–love, sis Caddo

    • Kate Kresse says:

      oh i love how you do your colors and fonts—how do you do that? and yeah he kept the pen. if we were goofing around with stuff we weren’t supposed to be goofing around with, he got to “keep the stuff”. It was ok—-see today’s post and you will totally love him. And weren’t those sharpeners on the crayon box totally fab??

  5. Lucid Gypsy says:

    Do you mean he didn’t give your pen back??? I remember those, they were fab.

  6. ferragudofan says:

    and now you have the joy of creating ‘colourful’ words on your blog – and we get to read them!
    (I do think you should buy yourself another one of those pens – just for the fun of it! – we’re never too old to be childlike again!)

    • Kate Kresse says:

      Yeh—I think I will buy one of those pens. One of my students has a whiteboard dry erase marker that has clicky things and multiple colors. I am on the lookout for one of those things!!

  7. I would have been heartbroken to have had my amazing pen, a gift from my dad’s loving heart, stolen by a teacher.
    What were you — an incorageable brat who never complied? NO! He did NOT understand YOU. He could have simply told you to quit it. YOU are the one who would have understood.
    I mean, you wrote PARAGRAPHS before he got up the nerve. He just wanted your cool pen. He DID understand how he could get himself one. Yep. How could his eyes be smiling while he stole from you? Whew.
    What a travesty.
    I am so sorry.

    • Kate Kresse says:

      oh gosh—it didn’t feel like that one bit! He waited to take it to see if I would stop my behavior on my own. He did it in such a loving, non-confrontational, way. Teachers my son had would have done it the way you describe, with nasty intentions, and have used it forever more every time there was a new class time writing assignment. They would have assigned the task and then said “now Josh, remember, write quietly, you know you love to play and be a distraction”…that crossed the line. Take a look at my post today—it was SO ok! thank yo for your loving affirmation!!!

  8. I had one of those pens, too, Kate! Weren’t they wonderful? i wonder if anyone still makes them! Ha! I like your first lesson learned: Don’t use a noisy multi-colored pen when you are supposed to be writing a quiet essay ~ it distracts people. That’s the number one lesson! Ha! Fun memories…

    • Kate Kresse says:

      those pens were fantastic! i love school supplies and office supplies…..i always, always have. never got into jewelry, but boy do i love cool folders, pens, pencil boxes, index cards, etc….i was endlessly fascinated by that pen! I wonder who the brilliant person was that invented it?

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