Dreams Deferred

8

May 26, 2017, Prescott-

In the interests of preventing further problems, for me and others, the chief of department has several questions, which she will raise next Wednesday.  A lot of decisions with regard to children are made, based on second-or third hand information.  There are specific program issues, personality clashes between adults (which do NOT take the children’s interests into account), and matters of style.

Memorial Day weekend has often been a time of deferring action, as there are many year end transitions that have to be accomplished, but people need respite.  I once lived out of my car for the weekend, while a prospective landlord took time off.  He, of course, blew me off on the following Tuesday, but I found a far better place in which to live.

This year brings a similar situation.  The possibility of returning to working with a high school age population is still quite real, but will need to defer to the principle of rest, and to further discussions.  My plan B is to be full-on with the Red Cross, though that will bring $0.  Then, too, there is the option of moving into a less expensive community, and starting over.  As I said, yesterday, quick, not dead.

Type Cast

5

May 3, 2017, Prescott-

I have always had difficulty

with Type A personalities,

if their insatiable drive

works in tandem,

with a need to embarrass

co-workers and subordinates,

by calling them out,

publicly.

It’s one thing,

to want to be in charge.

Many great things

have been achieved,

by the driven.

It’s quite another,

to want to be in charge,

and need to put

others down,

in a  quest for power.

Seems that the more

things unravel,

the more there is

a tendency to blame,

to micromanage,

and to misjudge.

Selective, or Snooty?

6

April 24, 2017, Prescott- 

It’s no deep secret that I have issues with those who build walls of snobbery around themselves. I’ve found them everywhere, from my home town of Saugus,  to Jeju, Korea, and to my present home base of Prescott.

Usually, snobs rely on “isms”, to validate their choices.  There are those who fall back on their self-perceived intelligence, while forgetting that the late George Plimpton, and others, routinely ridiculed their insolence.  There are others, “hipsters”, who brag about their sense of aesthetics, overlooking the beauty of simplicity.  Money, status in the community, and a misperceived “racial purity” are other sources of walls. Even in small communities, and communities of colour, subgroups operate to either maintain a false sense of superiority or to ingratiate themselves with those in power.  Seventeen years ago, a woman spread filth about my family and me, in a small desert community.  She had arrived  ten years earlier, from Ohio.  Here in Prescott, another individual, an attendant at a local fitness center, turns her head, sharply and disdainfully, whenever anyone over the age of forty approaches.

I have my own sense of selectivity.  I stay clear of fast food restaurants, many chain stores, and most Big Box establishments.  There is no shortage of people who would cry “Snoot”, at this information, and perhaps they’re right.  I do not, however, treat others with disdain, based on age, physical appearance,  mannerisms,perceived intelligence level, economic status or skin pigmentation.  Even the snobs get a fair hearing.

I have made the observation that fear is behind most snobbery.  If the wall-builders would stop and take several deep breaths, perhaps they would realize that nothing of consequence would befall them, were they to open the blinds, and take off the blinders.

Flat’s Where It’s At?

17

April 11, 2017, Prescott-

I opened my social media today,

to see a Flat Earther posting

that there is, in fact, no gravity.

He posits that the person walking

across the Earth will meet only

a sharp, high cliff, at the end of his journey.

The Sun is, according to this latter day sage,

a bright little ball that serves Mother Earth,

around which it revolves,

from a scant sixty thousand feet up.

I have two questions:

Is there a hotel, at each end point?

When will Sun tourism begin, and might we just float up there?

(This is, for the hyper-serious, a bit of levity, in the wake of the Flat Earth Society’s recent postings, on various Facebook sites.)

 

On Their Behalf

5

March 9, 2017, Prescott- 

“On behalf of my father,

rest assured, he wants to beat your butt.”

“On behalf of America’s white lower middle class,

know that they’re not taking your crap, any more.”

“On behalf of God, know that He’s coming,

and will soon give you what you richly deserve.”

Once removed, no need to be shy.

The inferred source(s) may, or may not,

want an emissary.

The speaker(s) definitely want a back-up.

Here’s a thought:

How about speaking YOUR mind?

Fathers, people who get their hands dirty,

and the Supreme Being, least of all,

hardly need a spokesman.

Admit it, this makes your comments

easier to let fly.

Front and Back

8

March 6, 2017, Prescott-

There is always a back side to any given coin,

or phonograph record,

or human story.

This makes it so tempting

for a person caught in a lie,

to shout “What about _____?”

It is second nature,

for two people arguing,

to focus on what the other

is saying, or doing.

Yet, one can only polish

one side at a time.

False equivalency does

nothing,

to help either

front or back.

There is no substitute

for focus.

Ever-standing

9

February 23, 2017, Prescott-

Over the past three years, I have been roundly excoriated by the following:

Alt-right extremists

Far-left extremists

Pedophiles

Misogynists

Strict disciplinarians

Free-child advocates

Other Baby-Boomers

Gen-X’ers

Crabby children

Cranky seniors

I must be doing something right.

Whatever, I’m still here.

 

Sixty-Six for Sixty Six, Part IX: Relativity

2

February 22, 2017, Prescott- 

In honour of George Washington and my paternal grandmother, (who would have been 118 today), this day was devoted to keeping my nose to the grindstone and making certain that the disparate, discordant and mutually-dissociated elements that come together, to make up my work day, were harmonized enough so that all were safe.

Lead teacher’s concerns are not the same as those of our students.  I have to listen to and answer her, while insisting to the children that they may NOT kill or maim one another-even if that means getting between them and restraining the wiry, determined revenge-seeker.

At bus time, our kids all got onto their buses, in short order- a welcome change of affairs. My other charges, the rest of the school’s bus riders, experienced a different scenario. There was unusually heavy traffic, parent-wise, today and for the first time this year, there were not one, but two, backlogs of cars.  I kept things going relatively smoothly, nonetheless.

General Washington barely knew a moment’s peace, until he retired to Mount Vernon.  My Nana only knew tranquility after her youngest son was married, and she was able to hold court on Sunday mornings, with us regular visitors in attendance.  I know peace and quiet, from 3:30 on, so by comparison, my days are sweet.

Sixty-Six for Sixty Six, Part VIII: Thin Skin

6

February 21, 2017, Prescott- 

The young fitness center worker,

seeing people of a certain age,

makes a stink face and hides,

when one of us approaches the desk.

A boy of ten,

never acquainted with people of colour,

inveighs about how ugly he thinks they are,

until warned by the teacher

that this is an outdated way of thinking

and is a serious offense.

The President of the United States,

fearful of those who have differing opinions,

rallies those who care for him,

and succeeds in deepening divisions,

which he swore to end.

I go about my life,

needing no approval from anyone,

except my God.

Sticks and stones…..

 

Strength First, Beauty Second

2

December 28, 2016, Prescott-

Just a few thoughts about the near-simultaneous passings of George Michael and mother & daughter, Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher:  While I am among the first to notice a lovely woman, my interest in people, regardless of gender, age or body type, very quickly heads towards their story.  What moves someone?  What has he or she endured?  Where have they been in life?  In what is he or she interested? What has she or he achieved?  What are their goals and dreams?

We seem to have entered a Black Hole, of sorts, in which a sitting president and his family can be characterized as a bunch of sub-humans, by a public figure who is connected to the President-elect.  It is presumed, but by no means verified, that said President-elect privately upbraided said friend. A few days later, a celebrity responded to the news of another celebrity’s passing, by wistfully commenting on how beautiful he thought she was, when both were younger.  That’s all well and good, but judging a book by its cover tells one nothing.  The fact is, Carrie Fisher’s story, which she later chronicled, herself, is one for the ages. George Michael’s story, as physically appealing as he was, to many women and gay men,is both inspirational, and a cautionary tale, for anyone.  Ogling is now, thankfully, considered bad form.  My advice:  Notice, make a mental note, and either get to know the person or leave her/him alone.

Those are my brief thoughts about one way that we can all get along for the better.  May all who passed, in this most jarring year, rest in eternal peace.