Recently, as a long-term substitute teacher at my favorite “high-needs” middle school, the strings teacher allowed me to bring a dozen assorted doughnuts and 28 large chocolate chip cookies to his awesome last class of about 30 eighth-graders. When spreading them out on a table, all the boys rushed to the front in order to grab the doughnuts.

I quickly asked the teacher if we could let ladies be first. The boys immediately disagreed. The teacher answered that they were my treats and I could make the rules. I reminded the boys that their mothers were ladies. Always respect her, I said — unlike Mr. Mike, who disrespected his mother until she died when I was 17.

They got the message and backed off, allowing the girls first choice.

Mike Sawyer

Denver

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