You’re never too old to learn, I guess

I may have been under the mistaken impression that I was pretty smart.
I mean, I’m a guy (not that that has anything to do with it) with a college education, I’ve worked in retail grocery, as a professional journalist and, for the past 16 years or so, as a teacher’s aide in a Special Education classroom.
I don’t know what my IQ is, but according to some on-line tests I’ve taken, it should be somewhere in the 130s, perhaps as high as 140. OK, I’m not MENSA qualified, but I am pretty smart.
Or so I thought until Friday morning/afternoon when I was at a job site with my special education students.
I had four of them with me in one of our high-school cafeterias and I went into the kitchen area to see how two of them — we’ll call them Alice and Karen — were doing with the dishes.
Alice was washing the dishes and Karen was transferring those same dishes from the hot rinse water to the lukewarm water that contained sanitizer. Karen, however, was not taking the soaked dishes out of the sanitizer sink as she was putting newer ones in, so the top couple of stainless steel serving platters were not completely immersed in the sink.
I looked at her and said, “Those have to be submerged, otherwise they won’t get sanitized.” She looked at me with a kind of “Huh?” look which made me realize “submerged” might have bee too big of a word for her to comprehend.
Restating my first remark, I said: “They have to be underwater to be completely clean.” Again, I was greeted with a blank stare. Perhaps she thought I said they have to be IN the water. The misunderstanding was OK because the dishes WERE in the water.
It wasn’t but a couple of seconds later, Alice yelled at Karen, “PUSH THEM DOWN!” So she did.
The kitchen helper, Chloe, just started laughing. And I did, too.
Yes, it was pretty funny. This 61-year old, college educated guy who is supposed to be teaching his students how to do every-day chores, just got schooled by a 19-year old, special-needs student.
I am humbled.


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