Tuesday, July 18, 2017


I am participating in the
Tuesday Slice of Life.
All participants are writing about one moment, one part of their day.
A big thank you to Two Writing Teachers for providing this unique opportunity
for teacher-writers to share and reflect.

I am increasingly aware of and frustrated by adamant people in my daily life, who impede conversations and discussions. These folks know it all, are absolutely right, see no point in hearing from others, and do not need to learn a new approach or consider another perspective. They are often the very first to speak up on an issue, presenting a diatribe that can effectively bring an end to discussion. Their modus operandi: talk fast, talk loud, talk over. Their perspective is the one way and the only way.

Have you had this experience, too?

I more or less expect this on talk shows, opinion pages, blogs. However, I am surprised by its frequency in staff meetings, church pews, neighborhood cookouts, and the grocery store.

Is society changing or am I getting more thin-skinned as I age? Or am I simply more aware that I don't know everything?

I hear their roar and I retreat and reflect.

Here's a teacher on a summer day, playing with the alphabet, playing with words.

Adamance - An ABC Poem

Avoid. Anger. Argue. Attack. Annihilate. Against. Absolute.
Block. Bother. Barrage. Believe. Brazen.
Curtail. Critique. Cut off. Contrary. Complain. Circular.
Deny. Deride. Dismiss. Defy. Denigrate. Divide. Depress.
Erase. Exaggerate. Eliminate. Exclude. Exhaust.
Fear. Force. Fight.
Go around. Garbage. Grumpy.
Halt. Hijack. Hard.
Impede. Ignore. Interrupt. Interrogate. Impatient.
Jeer. Judge. Jarring.
Kick to the side.
Lament. Lambast. Label.
Manipulate. Malign.
No. Never. Negative. Not listening.
Postpone. Push back. Prickly.
React. Refute. Resist. Refuse.
Shut down. Stop. Stuck. Stunt. Stridence.
Unbreakable. Umbrage. Ugly.
Walk away.
You are wrong.

What is the opposite of adamance?
What would this look, sound, feel like?
How might we reason together?
How might we encourage more receptiveness and flexibility in discussions?
What happens if we dare to let go of a conviction - even just momentarily - and simply drink in what another has to offer?

Not Adamance - An ABC Poem

Grapple with.
Open minds.
Yes, and.

There is one word that is in both poems - can you find it?

This one word sends me off in another tangent, thinking about how differently this action can be if you are feeling adamant versus feeling collaborative.


  1. I am certainly sharing this post and bookmarking it to visit later! I love that "question" is in both lists. The adamant person questions your validity without expecting an answer, and in non-adamance, we question to seek more information and even question our own beliefs, test them out against another's viewpoint. Fabulous slice; thanks for sharing it with us!

    1. Thank you, Chris! Sounds like you have run into some of the same personalities ;-) I wonder how we might find a way to be less defensive and better listeners.

  2. Question is an interesting word in both lists and reminds me that it too is not neutral. I tend to think of question as a positive term, but see here that it also can be used to undermine.

    I do not encounter many people as you first describe in my face-to-face interactions. I do, however, see this display of bullying via social media, especially as it concerns Donald Trump and his polarizing rhetoric and followers. I cannot recall another time in my life when such hatred was not only acceptable, but encouraged by a president and his coterie of assistants and family.

    1. Yes! You've introduced another tangent I considered...is it the daily onslaught of this polarizing rhetoric that has made me more aware of the absolutism of colleagues and friends? Are all of us more susceptible to tantrums and tirades? Thanks for commenting!

  3. What an impressive piece here - much thought & insight. I was drawn to read it because you said you started a second blog not related to early childhood/work. So significant, as our lives, thoughts, feelings, experiences are so much more than our work. When I started my blog, I struggled to frame it - should I write about educational stuff only? But there was so much more I wanted to write about - and if my goal was to grow as a writer, I needed freedom to write whatever. So my blog is about life and the meaning I derive from it - after all, life is the greatest teacher. I was also told by a colleague that I needed a niche, a target audience - I almost stopped the blog until I realized that it's for myself, first, as a keeping-place of my thoughts & feelings. I love your title "Write Beside Me" and the subtitle about the times you visit your writing. It's always there, always composing, with every sensation, every experience. I hope you'll capture & savor more here!

    1. Thank you so much, Fran! I totally agree with you, I am not seeking a niche audience - it's for myself. I have a friend who works weekly in her art studio - why not have a parallel for myself, a place to create through writing?