THE RIGHT WORDS
David's eighth-grade class departed on their class trip to Washington, D.C. this morning. Mrs. Baslow is serving as one of the chaperones.
Yesterday, Children's Express received an email note from The Times of India, requesting email interviews with David and the rest of the Gujarat-quake reporting team. David does not have access to email at school but his father does at work. Baslow could imagine David's reaction, arriving at the CE NY Bureau office for his interview with WABC, to learning that he would have to, that evening, write out answers to questions posed by The Times of India after making hiw way home, after eating dinner, before packing for his class trip. So Baslow volunteered to read the questions to David, tape record the responses, transcribe the result, and send it off to Children's Express for review and to forward on to the paper.
David read the list of questions he would be answering before the interview began. He was well aware, when the tape started rolling, that he was in some sense talking to the world (or, at least, to India) and not really to his Dad. Baslow noticed the care with which he chose his words. He was telling stories of children he respected and admired. The people who read the article might know those stories only through those words.
One of the questions posed was "Why were you chosen for this assignment?". David allowed as how he couldn't know for sure but that he'd written many stories for Children's Express and had done good work. Baslow added that it probably also had something to do with his having a valid passport.
It was intended as a "don't-get-too-big-for-your-britches" little joke but it was a stupid thing to say. David had earned the right to be taken seriously and to take his work seriously. He expressed annoyance at the remark the next morning.
Baslow has a lot learn from his kids.