Teaching Mamas and Teachable Kids

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Ray and I had a rare experience on Tuesday afternoon — it’s called margin. When I was in school, our teachers taught us to begin writing at the little red vertical line on our notebook paper and to stop when we got to the red line on the right. They taught us that the areas to either side were our margins. I hear that some people live their lives with margin. I’m not so good at that. Mother told me that when I was a little girl I never wanted to miss anything. I still don’t.

Our margin on Tuesday was four hours! We got to Peachtree Station in Atlanta at four p.m. — and our train didn’t depart Atlanta until 8:05.

I have been needing a haircut for a month of Sundays, but have found it hard to fit one in between conventions. Before we got to the station, I hoped there might be a salon closeby. I was cautiously optimistic when I noticed the two- or three-story Aveda Institute across the corner from the train station. My niece is a stylist, so I was savvy enough to know that the Aveda sign on that building might have something to do with hair. Still, I was afraid it might be a corporate headquarters or something. I was happy to learn that it was an Aveda beauty school and felt adventurous enough to let a student cut my hair, especially since the price was only $12.

By the time I sat down in the chair, it was 4:30. When I got out of the chair, it was 6:23. So much for my four-hour margin! I have to confess that I was in the chair so long that I had to fight to stay awake. The experience was delightful anyway and much better than the “Rosemary Haircut” I got last summer.

Scrunch and Go

Without a hairdryer and without room to change my mind in our “roomette,” I simply stuck my head under the faucet the next morning and did a scrunch-and-go. Even that was a challenging proposition in this sink!

Roomette Sink
I was surprised the first time I used the sink, because the water stayed. Then I figured out that you pick up the sink and the water flows out of the five holes under the faucet. People are ingenious.

My stylist was quite young. I’ll call her Torie. Torie told me about her nuclear family in Atlanta and about their visits back home to Peoria, Illinois, where the rest of the family lives. When I told her that I work in a family business, she thought that was wonderful and glowed as she told me that she and her mother may work together when she finishes school.

Torie has obviously chosen the right profession because when she finished my style, she said that she had to make herself quit or she would just keep playing with my hair. Hmmm. Is that why it took almost two hours?

Many things impressed me about Torie and the school.

Everything was neat and clean and coordinated. The stations, the chairs, the aprons, and even the clothing of every student and teacher was black. It looked so professional. Though the clothing was black, the styles varied and each person showed their individuality. Torie’s shoes were a pretty pastel.

The teachers were obviously in charge. They took their leadership responsibility seriously, while offering encouragement and helpful advice.

The teachers really taught. They weren’t simply facilitators. Torie heard instructions like, “Don’t hunch over when you cut. You’ll be sorry when you are 35!” and “Oil your scissors. That’s why they have that little click.”

Torie was respectful of her teachers. She even called one of them “ma’am,” a sign of respect that was expected when I was in school.

Torie took instruction well. She even appreciated it. She told me that she loves it when teachers offer helpful criticism when they do the final check when she finishes a style.

Sometimes when parents homeschool, they get too strict and seem almost to forget they are parents, but others get so relaxed that their children don’t learn to take instruction very well. Our children do well to have:

  • Respect for authority, including their parent/teachers,
  • Willingness to receive instruction, and
  • Gratitude for helpful criticism.

Give instruction to a wise man
and he will be still wiser,
Teach a righteous man
and he will increase his learning.
Proverbs 9:9


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  1. You are bravery itself! Going to a strange salon in our neck of the woods is risky business. (Ask my how I know…sigh)
    Your hair looks really cute!

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