Teenage boys embarrass easily.
But what is it that causes some of them to be embarrassed so often?
I embarrass easily.
I think my problem started because I didn't want to be different. I went to a Catholic school in grades one through five. Whenever I'd be pointed out in class for getting the highest grade, or being the only one to solve a math problem, or being the only one to spell a word correctly, that's when I'd be really embarrassed. And the kids would laugh at me because not only did I blush on my cheeks, my ears would turn bright red. I’m certain the teachers pointed to me to “set an example” which was something that was done regularly in every class at St. Mary’s School.
Of course, I wasn’t the only one to be pointed out this way in class, but it seemed to happen to me a lot more often. Unfortunately it happened to me a lot because I always seemed to get better grades than the other kids in my classes. Imagine, a boy getting better grades than all of the other boys, and especially than all of the girls, in all of his elementary school classes! It’s not easy being a straight-A student in elementary school. It makes you stand out as being different, just like the fat kids, or the short kids, or the kids who always seemed to get in trouble.
When I was supposed to register for sixth grade at St. Mary’s I asked my parents to let me transfer to the public intermediate school. They agreed. My reason was that there classes I could take there that weren’t offered at St. Mary’s. I never told them about getting embarrassed. What kid would ever tell their folks that? At Walnut Creek Intermediate the teachers never did public complimenting in class the way they'd done it at St. Mary’s. It was almost always done one-on-one. I think the teachers knew how embarrassing it would be for kids our age. When a teacher would take to me and give me a compliment, I'd still be embarrassed just like always. And the same thing happened in high school. And now in college it still happens.
Of course, it’s not just in school that I get embarrassed when I’m complimented. When anyone compliments me I get embarrassed and blush. I'm certain that it's a carry-over from when I attended St. Mary's School. And now I’m embarrassed just writing about it. Good grief!
This story and the included images are Copyright © 2010 by Colin Kelly (colinian).
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