April 30th, 2014


How Violent Are YOU?

When I first started teaching, I got in the middle of two fights.  Two men teaching with me (team teaching history/English) to a class of twenty kids (at the Iowa State Juvenile Home, where I taught for my first nine years), and who steps between the fighters?  The closest?  The coach?  Nope.  Me.  Twice with the same kid, who hit me both times.

The second time, I got mad and shook my fist in his face and told him if he ever did it again, I'd flatten him.  He was a skinny young Black kid from East Waterloo, and his momma must have said something similar to him, as he backed off and didn't repeat.

What I don't get is the men standing back, letting me handle it.  Expecting me to, long before I'd ever shown any "colors".

I've always considered myself "nonviolent", but there I was, shaking.  From the outside, it probably looked like a fear reaction.  But on the inside?  On the inside, I was angry.  I was furious.  I was close to a berserker rage.  Who knew?  Certainly not me, prior to that second incident.

Conversation Starters - The Joke: Seniors No Longer Need Driver's Licenses...

It all started with a joke:

Seniors No Longer Need Driver's Licenses...

My neighbor was working in his yard when he was startled by a late model car that came crashing through his hedge right into his front yard.

He rushed to help an elderly lady driver out of the car and sat her down on a lawn chair.

He said with excitement, "You appear quite elderly to be driving."

"Well, yes, I am," she replied proudly.  "I'll be 97 next month, and I am now old enough that I don't even need a driver's license anymore."

"You don't need a driver's license anymore?"

"That's right... The last time I went to see my doctor, he examined me and asked if I had a driver's license.  I told him 'yes,' and handed it to him . He took scissors out of the drawer, cut the license into pieces, and threw them in the waste basket, saying, 'You won't be needing this anymore.'  So I thanked him and left!"
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