Originally, the title of this blog was Focus on Faux Pas. That would be my major faux pas that connected to the radio program, Focus On The Family.
A couple of years prior to retirement, I arrived at the classroom with a super fantastic idea for a welcoming bulletin board. During the summer, I wrote letters to the incoming students and included a request for a family picture. By the first of August I had photos from most families, a huge roll of gold paper, large letters cut from blue flock, terrific photo frames and embellishments to impress the most jaded of bulletin board crafters. (Our school colors are blue and gold.)
Step ladder in place, table filled with my trove and I was totally excited about my best-ever effort. In a few hours, I was standing back in admiration.
As the week went on, other teachers began to prepare classrooms and, as always, there was a wonderful spirit of coming back together and the excitement of a new school year.
But I noticed something different. Usually we were very easy with comments of praise about colleagues’ efforts. My friends were oddly quiet about my masterpiece.
I looked again, carefully inspecting for something to cause this quiet. It looked beautiful–smiling families, artistic frames, sparkling background, clever bits of this and that. Nothing wrong that I could see.
Could I have spelled it wrong? Cut the caption with crocked scissors? No. Looked great.
Focus On The Family in giant blue and centered perfectly.
Gently, my dear partner, Linda, said, “Pat, do you ever listen to James Dobson’s program? Know who he is? Realize his agenda?”
“No, my radios stay grooved into NPR and I rarely switch to AM stations? But why the question?”
Gentle as she is, Linda could not suppress the smile at my confusion. With all due respect to Mr. Dobson and his focus, this would not fly in a neighborhood public school with great diversity of religious affiliations.
Faux Pas, indeed, became Welcome Westwood View Families. And that quiet? It took on a definite bent of teasing laughter. What a great place to work!