How I Learned Not To...

My experiences as a kid that shaped me to be who I am today.

How I Learned Not To Lie

To a three year old lying can become a habit. Luckily white lies, or fibs children tell, don’t usually end up with huge consequences. Which is why I was surprised when a white lie turned into a big mistake. When I was around the age of three I had a terrible strain of ear infections. A number of ear problems had plagued my health from age two to three. Naturally, after the infections, my mother took me to the doctor to see if it was anything serious. Questioning whether all the ear infections had affected my hearing, the doctors had me take hearing tests. For hearing tests they take you into a soundproof room, stick a set of headphones on you, and ask you to repeat words.

“Ok Anna” said a nurse “I want you to repeat after me.” Then she started to list words. They were simple words like “raindrop” or “flowers”. Obediently I would repeat exactly what she said. The test so far hadn't been very attention grabbing. There was time in between words to notice things like how terribly quiet the room was or how musty it smelled. Yet being a three year old I didn't enjoy the silence. Then the nurse finally said a word that caught my interest, Ice cream. I loved ice cream, It was what I hoped for every day. In my three year old mind the creamy, sweet taste of ice cream was the only thing that mattered. Excited at what the nurse said I cheered the word ice cream into the microphone. Then the nurse continued on with the word “Airplane.” I was about to repeat her when I thought to myself. I don’t like airplanes, I like Ice cream. Airplanes were loud, obnoxious, and scary to me, so I didn’t see why I would say airplane, Instead, I happily chirped “Ice cream” into the microphone again. Most people wouldn’t consider it a lie, but it was. I had lied about what I'd heard. The nurse on the other side paused for a moment, probably to write down my response. She then continued down the list.

I came out of the sound booth when we finished. The nurse went and talked to my mom. I zoned out through the boring chatter that came out of their mouths. It turns out that my fib was a huge mistake. The doctors had decided that I needed surgery to put tubes in my ears. I still can’t believe I had a surgery all because I decided that I liked ice cream instead of airplanes!

How I Learned Not To Steal

Our parents are usually the figures in our lives that teach us right from wrong things like “Don’t share your toothbrush with your dog.” or “Don’t flush cellphones down the toilet.” Apparently for me my parents word wasn’t just enough I had to experience things like stealing or lying. Luckily I attempted these things when I was little so it didn’t matter as much as it would now. When I was little I stole something from my neighbor and through the punishment I learned that stealing isn’t okay.

When I was about four or five I was bestfriends with my neighbor who is about a year younger than me. Her name was Samantha. Despite our age difference we still were great friends. She would come to my house from time to time and I would go to their house every now and then. One time she came over and she brought a toy. “Look what it does.” She said to me as I watched in aw. Flipping a switch was all it took and the toy sprang to life. It could sing, dance, light up, and best of all the fur was as soft as silk. In my mind it was the total package. I wanted a toy just like that but I couldn’t think of a way to get for myself, so logically I devised a plan to steal it.

Shortly after she came showed me the toy Samantha went inside to use the bathroom. I slipped the toy underneath my tricycle, away from eyesight. Samantha eventually came out, confused on where her beloved toy had gone she questioned me. “Have you seen my toy?” she asked. “No.” I replied arrogantly. She eventually forgot about it and we kept playing. Victorious I went to go gloat to my brother. “Hey.” I said to him “Look at this. I stole this.” Because my brother is three years older than me, he knew stealing was wrong. He ended up betraying me and telling my mother about the whole thing. In punishment for what I did my mom made me apologize to Samantha and her mom. In my three year old mind even talking to adults was terrifying. Eventually I gave my apology to Samantha and her mom. Luckily after that experience I learned my lesson.

How I Learned Not To Cheat

From a very young age were are told not to cheat, and some people take that and don’t question it. Some people, such as myself, however learn through experiences. I learned the hard way that cheating is wrong. Back when I was in first grade, like every school, they gave us math tests. During a math test, I came across a difficult problem. The test had us read the time and write the hour hands down on the clock. Filling out the answers one after another I eventually came across the problem Show 3:15. I was slightly confused by it but it was still easy to figure out. It wasn’t hard but being the perfectionist I was I wanted to get the answer correct.

A couple moments later and the teacher's voice rang across the room “All right everyone, hand in your tests.” I looked up at the teacher as she came around collecting the test paper, but then something blocked my view. Holding her paper high in the air a girl flaunted her paper as if to say “Hey! Everyone, look at me. I am so good at math I will get all the questions right.”

As she waved the paper in the air my eyes caught on the problem. Show 3:15. I looked at her answer and to my horror she had a different answer. Not knowing what to do I looked over at her again. She seemed like she new exactly what she was doing so I decided to change my answer. Quickly I erased my answer and wrote in hers.

Weeks passed and I hadn’t thought about it until we got the test back. I flipped through the pages until I found the problem. I had gotten it wrong, or should I say she had gotten it wrong. I looked at the corrections and to my surprise my original answer was right. I felt ignorant for doubting myself. From then on I decided to stick to my original answer, and I haven’t cheated since.