Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

Learning Curve: Chapter 24

Gila Arnold

Suri feels guilty about telling Aviva what her daughter overheard about Yael’s poor work. After meeting with a business coach, they send out customer-satisfaction surveys

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

F raidy, Yael’s grad student observer, was already parked at the therapy table when Yael walked through the door. She was bent over a laptop, looking way too intense for Yael’s liking.

For the past several weeks, Fraidy had been going on and on about her master’s thesis, asking Yael a million and one questions, insisting on reading entire sections aloud and getting Yael’s critique on them. (“I don’t know, maybe I should’ve included more examples here. I know I already have five, but maybe they’re not good enough? And the research section — is it too short? Do you think I should use that journal article I told you about? I mean, I could get the Finnish translated if I need to.”)

Yael’s own thesis paper was something she generally tried hard to forget about. Researching, writing, organizing her time… none of these was her forte. The irony of a grad student looking to her for advice would be quite humorous if not for the fact that she was actually expected to answer her questions — week after excruciating week.

Bracing herself, she gave a quiet “Hello, Fraidy,” as she put her bags down.

Fraidy looked up, beaming. “Yael! I’m so glad you’re here! I wanted to ask… Whoa!! Where’d you get that awesome outfit?”

Yael blinked at her sudden change of direction. Then she looked down at her clothing. Of course. Today she was wearing a Rina’s Racks exclusive.

Silently blessing her fashionista sister-in-law for the first time, Yael put a big, sparkly grin on her face — big enough, she hoped, to make Fraidy forget about this week’s burning questions, and said, “So glad you like it! I got it at my sister-in-law’s store. You know Rina’s Racks? On the Avenue?”

Fraidy’s eyes were wide. “Rina’s your sister-in-law?”

Yael nodded eagerly. “She designed this herself.”

“No way!” Fraidy said, awed. “Tell me your secret: how do you get a sister-in-law like that?”

Yael smiled. “By marrying her brother.”

Fraidy giggled, that look of awe still in her eyes. Yael turned away, suddenly uncomfortable. She started setting up her equipment while Fraidy, after a moment, went back to her laptop. Suddenly, she said, “Hey, I forgot to mention — impressive survey you guys put together.”

Yael looked at her blankly. “Survey?”

“Yeah, that customer-satisfaction survey you e-mailed your clients. My little brother came here for therapy a while back, so my mom got sent a copy. Real thorough job. Speaking as someone who’s been spending the past billion hours making up research surveys for this thesis paper, I must say, I was impressed.”

Yael didn’t know what to say. She couldn’t well admit that she had no idea what the girl was talking about. Settling on an uncertain “Uh, thanks,” she went back to her equipment, her mind racing. What in the world was this about? And, more to the point — if the clinic was sending out a survey, why didn’t she know about it?

Related Stories

House of Mirrors: Chapter 6

Rachael Lavon

Sarah tells Laylee she’s no longer in school because of an incident involving cannabis. Laylee’s fat...

Learning Curve: Chapter 23

Gila Arnold

Suri’s daughter tells her about a conversation she overheard at the clinic, in which mothers complai...

Instant Motherhood

As told to Riki Goldstein by Chana Rosenblatt

Many people thought that we had both lost our minds: how could I marry someone 16 years older than m...

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

Drink to Eternity
Rabbi Moshe Grylak Redemption doesn’t simply mean being let out of jail
Klal Yisrael Is Always Free
Yonoson Rosenblum "In that merit will Klal Yisrael continue to exist”
Home Free
Eytan Kobre My baseline for comparison is admittedly weak
Believe in Your Own Seder
Rabbi Judah Mischel Hashem is satisfied when we do our best
Picture Perfect
Yisroel Besser Take a picture — and this time, send it to yourself
Flying Solo
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman As Pesach loomed closer, his resentment was growing
Hanging on by a Hair
Jacob L. Freedman MD “Do you still think that I’m not completely crazy?”
A Song for Every Season
Riki Goldstein Influencers map out their personal musical soundtracks
Subliminal Speech
Faigy Peritzman The deeper the recognition, the deeper the effect
The Big Change
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Spelling things out clears clouds of resentment
The Count-Up
Mrs. Shani Mendlowitz Tap the middos of Sefirah to recreate yourself
The Baker: Part 1
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP with Zivia Reischer "She can't get married if she can't build a relationship...
Know This: Infertility
As Told to Bracha Stein There was no place for me. I didn’t belong
Dear Shadchan
The Girl Here's the thing: I need time