Tuesday, January 12, 2010

History of Calvin: Part 2 of 70

We all have experiences that help to shape us. I think most of the time, we don't remember the more influential experiences. However, I've been blessed with a good memory and attention to detail. It's unfortunate that these things don't transfer very well into my school or employment. It kinda blows, actually.

We moved to Utah when I was five years old. I remember standing at the door to my kindergarten class with my mom as Mrs. Milner introduced me to the other five-year-olds. I distinctly remember being embarrassed and shy. I hung my head as I went to my desk. I also remember one of my five-year-old peers had a cast on her leg. It looked like most of the other students had already signed it. The fact that I hadn't been there to sign her cast two days earlier made me immediately feel like an outsider... and it was only my first day.

I don't remember specifically making friends, but one memory of my first week of school stands out to me. Mrs. Milner had all of the students sit in a circle, Indian Style (totally not politically correct nowadays) as she read a story to us. Before she started the story, I remember she pulled out a huge bag of regular M&M's. The whole class got pretty excited. As she opened the bag, she said, "I'm going to give each of you 10 M&M's and I don't want you to eat them, okay? Did everyone hear me? Do not eat these M&M's until I say it's ok." We all expressed our excited understanding. Mrs Milner gave each of her 25 students 10 M&M's. I remember there were students in front of me and behind me. Luckily, I had enough room to place my M&M's on the ground in front of me, careful to put enough space between my candy and the five-year-old butt sitting in front of me.

Mrs Milner started explaining what was about ready to take place, but I was still staring at my M&M's. I counted them about 50 times... just to make sure I really had 10 of them. Mrs. Milner started reading a story to us about a little boy and his pet cow or something. After she finished the first page she stopped reading. I looked up at her and then around at my fellow students trying to figure out what was going on. After three seconds, I realized that I had inadvertently looked away from my candy and I quickly looked back down at them to make sure they were all still there. Luckily, while she was reading, I had grouped them up into colors so it was easier to account for all 10.

Then Mrs. Milner spoke. She said, "Who can tell me what the little boys name was?" A boy with greasy hair raised his hand and said, "Joey." Mrs. Milner said, "That's right" and then handed him an eleventh M&M. Up until that point, I had no idea that we would be rewarded for correct answers. I was ecstatic. I hadn't been listening, but I figured it didn't really matter. Mrs. Milner said, "What color was Joey's cow?" I raised my hand. I had no idea what the answer was, but I'd seen plenty of photos of cows. She called on me. I was so excited. "Black and white." She replied, "Nope. Sorry. It was brown. Give me one of your M&M's."

I'm sure my first reaction was confusion. That didn't dissuade Mrs. Milner. She held out her hand, waiting for me to give her one of my M&M's. I had no idea that a wrong answer meant I had to give up one of my M&M's. I hadn't listened to the instructions for this stupid activity. I looked down at my M&M groupings and thought about which color I was willing to give up. Mrs Milner didn't like the fact that I was stalling. She asked me, again, to give her an M&M. I wanted to cry. Not figuratively. I literally felt my bottom lip starting to quiver as I picked up a brown M&M (I had more of those than the other colors) and handed it to her. She continued to read the book.

I listened to her retarded story as she continued to read. She asked easy questions and kids kept answering and getting more and more M&M's. But I didn't raise my hand again. I looked down at my nine M&M's and decided that even if I KNEW the answer, I wasn't going to risk losing another M&M. I was guaranteed nine M&M's. I knew those were mine. I knew it. So why would I take a chance and risk losing another M&M? No way.

Even though I remember all of those details, I don't remember eating my M&M's. I just remember my overwhelming sadness at losing one of them. I'm not sure what lesson I took away from that experience, but I'm positive it wasn't the intended lesson.

How does this experience translate into my attitude toward girls, relationships, my testimony, furthering my education, and magnifying my calling?

I have no idea, but when I figure it out, I'm totally gonna use this experience (and its related spiritual analogy) in my next sacrament meeting talk.

Calvin

54 comments:

Lauren said...

Sounds to me like you don't like taking chances and are a-ok with settling for less. That is lame Calvin....

Katie said...

Mrs. Millner started explained? Sounds like your school didn't teach you how to speak correctly ;-)

That was a good story, and I definitely can see it being used in a talk, youth fireside, or something like that. Oh I know. Compare it to the parable of talents. You didn't try to increase your M&M's, just like the foolish man in that parable didn't increase his talents. Then again, that would make you look bad.

Nicole said...

haha sweet cant wait to hear parts 3-70.... haha

karajean said...

You're a writer, you know that?

It's refreshing to read.

Anonymous said...

Think Calvin... I know that you can figure this one out. The parable of the 90 and 9? Perfect for a talk indeed. I might just steal it myself next time I get asked to speak ;) You do have a great memory. I enjoyed this story very much, although I don't think I would have had the heart to take away a little boys m&m at the sight of his little bottom lip quivering, so freaking sad! Did she happen to hit your shins with a ruler when you got an answer wrong too? Wouldn't surprise me Calvin... wouldn't surprise me.

Haley said...

Not going to lie, I really want to be in the sacrament meeting when this story's told. To hear you tell it over the pulpit and to watch everyone's reactions.

Heather Lee said...

I love the randomness that is this post.

Nikki said...

You and me both...I am totally using this. :)N

Mary said...

this story made me pretty sad while reading. im sorry you had such a traumatic childhood.

Meghan O said...

I have to be honest, I'll I got from this story was that I felt bad little Calvin lost one of his m&ms.

That and I'm jealous of your awesome memory.

That story will come in handy someday =)

M-Cat said...

Totally could have used this when I taught Gospel Doctrine a couple years ago.

Now I'll have to work into a YW lesson.
Great writing.

The Boob Nazi said...

Can we stop using the "r" word? I know you're not PC or anything, but that one is really getting old.

Ash said...

Awwwww poor baby Calvin! I could never to do that to a kid, seriously.

Great story dude. I can't wait for part 3!

Autumn said...

Great story! I too might steal it one day. Loved it. And personally, I couldn't steal an M&M from Calvin now, or when he was a little kindergartner. Get some M&M's and we can share with each other. I'll even give you two brown ones to make up for your teacher ;]

kelly anne said...

oh man, i feel all sad now!

Kristin Lee said...

Mean Kindergarten teacher.

I agree with Lauren, sounds like you settle for less even when you could easily get more.

But it also makes you a very smart 5 year-old. Calvin, your 5 year-old self needs a hug. Did you know that kids who group things like that at a young age are considered to be gifted? In elementary school a few of my teachers did that little test and, oddly enough, all of the kids that grouped ended up being in AP classes during high school. Interesting little tidbit for you.

Kellie said...

Emotional eh? I probably would've cried.. a 5 year old losing an M&M is tragic. Especially when you only got 10 to begin with.

Stephanie said...

this has nothing to do with anything, other than my desire to beat the boob nazi to your hatemail sidebar.

lunch on who wins.

thus, i have written a limmerick (you guys served in ireland, right?) to express my feelings on the situation.


there once were two boys in the city
who thought that they were quite pretty...


handy with chicks
though they both could be dicks


at least they're not aaron, he's shitty.



i think i shall write all comments in limmerick form.

Kate Weber said...

Ha ha! Sounds like a great story! I was so excited to get to the end and hear some great insight you cooked up to go with it, but it seems you don't have that part quite figured out. It made me laugh!

Mormon Bachelor Pad said...

Stephanie: It's not often I laugh audibly at comments from strangers... but I did tonight. Awesome limerick.

And I doubt Boob Nazi will make it to the sidebar. Only gay retards get to be on the sidebar.

-c

Stephanie said...

HEAR THAT BOOB NAZI????

HOW YOU LIKE THEM APPLES.

The Boob Nazi said...

DAMMIT, STEPHANIE. GET OFF THIS DAMN WEBSITE AND GET A LIFE!!!

At least I know I'm not a "gay retard"? Which I was never in danger of being, as I'm not homosexual nor MR.

And does this mean Stephanie is closer than I am to getting on the sidebar?

I hate that bitch.

Chad and Clair said...

It's funny how entertaining a story about M&M's can be. I like when you go outside the box (meaning talk about something besides girls). You are a great writer. Very entertaining.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for wasting my time. We don't care about your M&Ms.

P.S. Love ya! :):

Jessica Leigh said...

Love it!

And I'm guess gambling has never been your thing... eh? ;)

Chess said...

The plethora of original analogies created by Mormons is astounding. :)

lifechick said...

Wow, 5-year-old Calvin was afraid of losing his M&Ms, so that means he's happy to settle for less? Harsh! Inaccurate too, imo.

C, I don't know how much this experience necessarily translates to your life now. Every other kid in the class might've done the same as you. Or, maybe I'm just shallow, and miss the deeper meaning in things.

I do find it funny your teacher took your M&M, and now your roommates take your stuff outta the fridge. Maybe you're just destined to have your tasty snacks abducted.

P.S. Responded to your mild scolding on my blog. Yeah, I know; I'm lazy like that!

April said...

well... maybe that means that you didnt want to risk losing something you had by trying something new... relationships are hard, calvin. i can totally relate that story to my life. i recently started blogging and a friend of mine told me to check out your blog. im impressed at how entertaining it is. im hooked really. but anyway, i am one of those girls that was afraid to lose what i had and unsure about taking risks. i have a missionary out and love him dearly but recently took a risk by getting into a serious relationship and now im in love with 2 people... talk about soap opera drama. help me out! what do i do?
anyway. thanks for your post. <3 april.

20 Something said...

Calvin, Your post just get better and better. Seriously this was awesome. I'll send you a whole bag to the PO box address if it makes you feel better.

Nate said...

I would say that it means your five year old self had trouble listening and following directions (since I assume that while you were sorting your M&Ms, counting them, and keeping them from touching other five-year-old butts, the teacher explained that she was going to ask questions about the story and the consequences of right or wrong answers). Hopefully you have gotten better since then.

As for spiritual analogies, I would go for listening to the Spirit or the prophet or something.

Kelly said...

You just gave me a great idea for my next Sunday school lesson! Thanks C.

Melissa said...

They still use this m&m barter system in my daughters class. I have a jar of m&ms at home so when she comes home and had to give one of hers away, i give her one. I think teaching kids if they get the wrong answer they will lose something is wrong. I want to encourage my kids to always be free and willing to give their answers/opinions to anything in school! Using this system will teach you in life, if you say the wrong thing to a boyfriend or girlfriend, you will lose them! =)

ChloƩ said...

haha stephanie and Boob Nazi? i know you both and i love you both, teach me how to be cool like you!!i am being serious.

Jody Lynn said...

what was that you said about people making the sidebar, cal???

Brynn said...

I kept reading thinking that this story was actually going to go somewhere..... and then it didn't.

Well, if that is the most traumatic experience that you experienced as a child consider yourself extremely lucky.

Erin said...

Regardless of how much I judge you guys, and believe me, I do, and I'm talking constantly here, I still can't help but keep coming back. Sigh.

And I think I suddenly have a girl crush on both Stephanie and the Boob Nazi.

Blahblahblah said...

Lame, lame, lame... who cares if you got M&Ms taken away from you as a five year old. Your followers are annoying with their comments. Please have a real opinion rather than just saying "oh, poor Calvin."

brie said...

seriously so sad! i bet that sitch totally lowered your self-esteem by a couple points.

--and i'd have totally given her a brown one, too - why do they always put more brown m&m's in the bag than in any other color, when they look the most like rabbit poop? same goes for reese's pieces. i just ate a bag, and, like you, i grouped them by color. more than DOUBLE the amount of oranges and yellows. lame lame lamazoid.

and finally -- why are people so bitchy on your blog? you were FIVE. it was a lesson (maybe someday, haha) learned. chill, people. cal's a good boy!

Heather Guymon said...

How traumatizing for a little kid...but I totally had to laugh at your last sentence =)

Rissy said...

I used to teach dance to 2-4 year olds. I was told to have them sit "criss cross apple sauce" instead of "indian style." I didn't understand what criss cross applesauce meant but they definitely did.

Anonymous said...

My nieces say criss cross applesauce. They had to explain what it meant because I say "Indian style."

samnhal said...

Maybe that you don't take risks with your testimony? Your sadness at losing your M&M could be related to losing part of your testimony, and then standing strong to not let your testimony fade away with time, but to maintain it, and maybe even strengthen it. Is that good BS or what? That's how I graduated from college. You have my permission to use this for a talk, if you wish.

Anonymous said...

next sacrament meeting talk could go something like this....

"Just as Ms. Miller watched over us in that kindergarten class the lord watches over us every day and gives us all that we possess which are likened to the M&M's we had on that day in kindergarten. The Lord gives us blessings every day as we listen to his commandments. But when i had not listened to the story presented in class, i was not at a point where i could partake of those delishes m&m's. When the lord asks something of us, and we do not obey or do not listen he cannot bless us. The lord has laws he must abide by just as the rules for the "game" ms. miller had layed out before the story... but when we follow the commandments there are blessings that can easily become countless, but we much engage our self in the gospel. If we do not do this we go through our life just sitting on the our skirts of what we know we should be doing.... we take the risk of possibly missing out on the many blessings and opportunities that the lord could give us. but as along as we do engulf our lives in the gospel, and follow the Lords commandments and strive to follow this word, we will be blessed.. well at least until the bag of m&m's rus out..."

yeah i totally just wrote a future talk for you... not that i'm obviously super lame right now or anything... yeah haha.
-whit

team boob nazi said...

I am proud to say that my comments have made it to the sidebar a few times. Which was unexpected, thrilling and funny all at the same time.

dear boob nazi - you have an awesome name so I know you can come up with something clever and funny to say to make it to the sidebar. Or if you want to take the easy road, just be as insulting as possible.

dear calvin - boob nazi should make it to your sidebar based on her name alone. I have no idea what it means, but it just makes me instantly like her!

The Boob Nazi said...

haha thanks, Team Boob Nazi. I'm taking Stephanie down.

Stephanie said...

whatever. there is no defeating a limmerick.


even if you are hot.

stewbert said...

Completely forgot the story when I read your comment back to Stephanie about only "gay retards" get the side bar.

What on earth makes you think being gay or mentally challenged is such an insult and a great way to slam people? UGH.

Wendyburd1 said...

Wow. I only stopped by because how much Boob Nazi hates your blog, and that is saying a lot. She can appreciate controversy.But after reading some of your pathetic postings, I have to agree with her, you are all sad little dirt bags.

You claim this blog is for the sake of honesty, but I am not seeing this so-called honesty. All you are really doing is degrading females, those in your own wards even, and being contemptible. I thought it might be alright at first, honesty from guys of my faith...but all I see? A bunch of losers who think it is okay to demean women. To tell one she is too fat to be cute, or tell one she pulls off pasty real well!! You are doing wonders for their self-esteem. Like the world isn't sucky enough without you two knocking women down a few more pegs?!

There is honesty and then there is just being jack asses because you can get away with it. And that is all you are doing here. If this was a blog about being honest, you wouldn't be such 2-dimensional "characters". IF, this blog is even real and IF there is even more than one of you writing this. I have read some good blogs that turned out to be as fake as your stats most likely are.

And I am not gay at all, so don't get excited, but I have had a lot of hot Sister Missionaries in my Ward. And the reason they go on missions (besides a faith as strong as any guys)? So they don't end up married to idiots like you!!

I am sorry Boob Nazi, I am not trying to usurp your contest with Stephanie, I just had to read some of what you were saying they were about, and it made me sick. I might actually fear now that any guy who is a RM, is a jackass. They have ruined the illusion that a Return Missionary is honorable and respectful and had TWO YEARS to appreciate not having women around!! Ugh, I really DO need Pepto Bismol now.

Mormon Bachelor Pad said...

Holy crappers, Wendy. Our sidebar isn't THAT big.

Can you at least give me a hint as to whether or not you'll be back here this weekend reading our next post?

-c

Nikki said...

LMAO!! Wendy you a piece of work...

Nikki said...

Retarded retarded retarded retarded retarded retarded retarded retarded.

Wendyburd1 said...

I am only back to make sure my comment wasn't lambasted...you have a computer, look it up if you need to. Though I am saddened my comment is too much for your sidebar to handle.

People who actually SAW me after I read some of your blog suggested I stay away as it pissed me off that much. The knowledge that all Mormon guys might be pigs, just saddens this heart.

And Nikki, go read the blog post by The Boob Nazi on why the word retarded is NOT cool.

Diva's Drama said...

My only question is this: WHAT COLOR? Answer if your life depended on it... ha ha.
-Diva

Diva's Drama said...

Also just relate it to the story of talents... don't cower because of fear... don't bury or clasp things too tight because in life it's about the risk factor....

Here it is: It's hope that if you try harder... you can excell....

Anyway....