Bitch on the Blog

February 27, 2017

Tabula rasa

To blow the lid off yesterday’s vessel I will give you something to think about, to reflect on. A laughing matter it ain’t. In fact, I am in shock. Not that I should be since I have experienced same in a different guise before.

There I was, reading a comment. Unfortunately – and please do follow the story line – I didn’t take in the name of the commentator. By the tone of the voice, its sheer being obtuse, I “knew” who it was. Cue hackles rising. I worded my answer accordingly, erring on the acerbic side. Being my lucky day, before I pressed “publish” my gaze happened upon the name of the actual sender.

And what do you know? And this is the punchline and the whole point of this post – and it is shameful. Once I realized who it really was from my whole mindset changed. Suddenly, the very same text took on a completely different nuance. Seen though a filter of benevolence and affection I do have towards this particular commentator. How mad (subjective) is that? Needless to say that I deleted and re-wrote my answer.

If that doesn’t wake you to the vagaries  of human exchanges nothing will. I literally cannot believe it. When I say “it” I mean, I can’t believe that I fell into the very trap I so despair of with others.




  1. I once read something about Locke… all I remember is that he thought that children’s minds are Tabulas rasa… (any Latin scholars can tell me what the correct plural is)…. which affects me as a teacher.

    This particualr post reminds me of a comment that you made yesterday about your becoming a blogger…..

    I wonder how many are wondering :”Was it me?” chuckle.

    Comment by magpie11 — February 27, 2017 @ 13:00 | Reply

    • It’s elemantary, my dear Magpie,”Tabulae rasae”. And don’t pretend you didn’t know that. I wouldn’t call myself a scholar but did take Latin up to A-Level (voluntarily). Not that I wanted to study medicine (in those days, in order to secure a place, A-Level Latin was obligatory), I just loved it. There is structure in that language, order you can hold onto like a banister when walking down some stairs. I also remember once being given a “Strafarbeit” (Strafe meaning “punishment”, Arbeit meaning “work” – and remember “Arbeit macht frei”.). It wasn’t so much punishment as work for me. Namely to learn (by heart) the first page of Caesar’s “De bello gallico”. And recite it, the next day, in front of the whole class. Brill. In those days teachers knew how to nip the undesirable in the bud. I did it, no sweat. My crime? Talking in class. Once a chatterbox, always a chatterbox. Yes, Herr Dr Schillinger. Wonderful teacher. Commanded respect, a natural authority.

      Magpie, don’t wonder with a chuckle whether it was you. It was on a different thread, on someone else’s blog. Anyway, since when would I call you “obtuse”? I know you, don’t I? Even if not in the Biblical sense – lest someone gets the wrong end of this particular stick.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — February 27, 2017 @ 17:24 | Reply

      • I actually had no idea …. they would not let me study latin when I wanted to…. so, seriously, no pretence. Given the various Northern European roots of English I do wonder why such as the good Doctor sought to impose Latin Grammar (as I understand) on English……

        I have been called “obtuse”….. as I can be slow on the uptake, painfully so at times. It’s getting worse.

        Comment by magpie11 — February 27, 2017 @ 20:55 | Reply

  2. People do that all the time. In general they give themselves and friends the benefit of the doubt, others not so much. It’s sad.

    Comment by Cheerfulmonk — February 27, 2017 @ 18:57 | Reply

    • It is sad, indeed, Jean. Luckily I am self aware enough to catch myself out – me, of all people, so proud that I am just, fair, above board, without preconception, and yet and yet and yet… Must try harder to attain what I aspire to.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — February 27, 2017 @ 19:10 | Reply

  3. Just goes to show much we’re guided by our expectations rather than what’s actually in front of us. I’ve had the same experience sometimes. But then I generally expect people to be polite and courteous so I tend to give someone the benefit of the doubt when maybe they’re being deliberately nasty.

    Comment by nick — February 28, 2017 @ 17:27 | Reply

  4. So good that you caught it! Now you have a paradigm shift in thinking. How cool is that?

    Comment by Shoshanah — March 1, 2017 @ 15:10 | Reply

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