Seeing Ourselves as Others See Us
In This Case, Ti Ti Seeing Herself

My first email in 2021 was about Ti Ti and something that she wrote in an email. I had some disagreement with her comment about herself. I thought that she was selling herself short academically and told her that we need to chat on Facebook Messenger. During that chat, I wanted Ti Ti to grade her academic ability level. Did she see herself as a student that is 70-79% C, 80-89% B, or 90-100% A? She saw herself as a B-/80% student. I addressed that matter on the essay on New Year’s Day.

In that essay, I told Ti Ti about what Bobby Burns said in one of his poems, “It would be a gift of God to be able see ourselves as others see us.” It was my way of saying to this brilliant young lady that she needed to see herself as I see her.

Interestingly, I have always seen Ti Ti as brilliant. However, I noticed that she and I are quite similar in one way academically. We both lived in nice middle-class communities and went to nice middle-class schools. However, we both needed to attend high schools that were college preparatory. I went to Mt. Lebanon High School and Ti Ti went to the DNNA Private School in Taunggyi. It wasn’t easy for each of us to adjust to attending college preparatory high schools. We both felt that we might not be as educationally competent as we wished.

Having an outsider reflect how they see us is extremely beneficial.Louie Palmer was one of those people that saw my potential while I was still in college. Much of who I am today can be traced back to being his teaching assistant during my senior year.

I see Ti Ti as an extremely gifted young lady and student.

That is the backstory. This part of my essay started when I received another email from Ti Ti.

Dear Papa Al,
             A few days ago, I finished my assignment on the Technology skills subject. So, I put an attachment of that assignment because I want to show you my work. It took five or six days to finish that assignment. Since this is the first assignment I have ever done, there may be a lot of mistakes and needs. I made a report for gamers and game streamers. The assignment task is to make a report of any purpose computer and explanation on network types, topologies, and devices. You may check the assignment brief if you want to know more about the assignment's task. But I have sent you that PDF before. Love,

With regards,

How excited do you think I felt when I saw that she attached her first collegiate assignment? I clicked on the attachment. What did I see? Her attachment wasn’t her assignment. It was some computer company’s sales report.

Therefore, I replied to Ti Ti’s email.

Ti Ti,

I quickly opened the first attachment and scrolled through thirty-one pages. I thought, self, where is Ti Ti’s assignment?

Then I noticed this on the last page. The attachment wasn’t from some computer company’s sales report.

Hey, that’s my granddaughter’s name. Some time, we need to chat!!!!!!!!

In the meantime, can I use couple small parts from that assignment that I would cut and paste to my essay that I am going to write about you? Imagine…. I’m going to sing your praises. Well, for over seven years, I have been singing them.

One passing comment. I told you that you that you are brilliant!

PaPa Al loves you, Ti Ti, and I’m proud of you.

It was obvious that I was so excited to look through what I thought was Ti Ti’s assignment that I rapidly glanced at all the pages. Had I looked at the cover page for more than a nanosecond, I would have seen her name, Nang Hsu Yati. Her parents’ created her nickname, Ti Ti, by repeating the last two letters of her last name.

This essay is a cute story about a grandfather and his granddaughter. However, it is also an article about you helping others to see themselves as you see them.