A semi-regular attempt to address some of life’s minutiae that might otherwise be overlooked…..
The teachers’ strike here in West Virginia was finally resolved after a couple of weeks and the kids are back in school. However, I have been somewhat befuddled by post-strike reactions from a number of parents. Some actually asked…after their children had missed nine days of school already…if the youngsters were still going to be given a spring break. Others were irate that the school calendar will now extend into the second week of June because they’ve already booked a beach vacation. A few have stated an intention to pull their children out of school because the strike wasn’t their fault and they shouldn’t have to pay for it. Seriously?? A few years ago an acquaintance who happened to be a teacher from another state but had recently moved to West Virginia expressed her astonishment at the complete lack of appreciation or concern with education by the citizens here, and she was spot on in her assessment. It isn’t surprising that The Mountain State ranks almost dead last in nearly every positive economic, educational, health, & general lifestyle category while hovering near the top of many undesirable rankings. Ignorance and an aptitude for self-destruction are as much a part of our civic DNA as pepperoni rolls, coal mining, & Country Roads.
I have on occasion half-jokingly stated a desire to fake my own death and go off the grid…just me, Rocco, great books, & Internet access. Of course I would never actually do such a thing, mostly out of love & respect for my family, but also because I lack the means & knowledge to pull it off. However, I am increasingly enamored with the idea of disengaging as much as possible from society. I have become so disappointed with people who I care about proving just how little they think of me. How is it alright to not call someone for an entire year and then begin taking passive-aggressive, sanctimonious pot shots at them on social media?? Why is it acceptable to use someone when you’re at a low point in life and need a shoulder to cry on or an ego boost, but when your issues diminish and everything is hunky dory you just toss that person aside like garbage?? I don’t have any answers, but the questions and the situations that cause one to ponder them are soul-crushing. I’m not innocent. I am quite sure that I have carelessly instigated sorrow to others, but that just reinforces my desire to extricate myself from The Matrix. I don’t want to hurt anyone, and I’m damn sure tired of people frivolously disregarding me.
Hey, speaking of schools & students….
Did the recent 17 minute nationwide walkout to protest gun violence accomplish anything?? What color ribbons did the kids wear (because wearing ribbons indicates you mean business)?? Obviously everyone agrees that mass shootings and violence of any kind is not good, but I’ve just never understood protests & boycotts. I’m sure one could find some that have been effective, but my perception is that such examples are rare. And I am especially troubled by protests against Constitutional rights for which our forefathers fought a Revolution. I believe we’ve made an error indulging these children, and I don’t think that misstep is a recent development. American society has been mollycoddling youngsters for atleast a couple of decades instead of giving them the skills & knowledge necessary to successfully navigate life, and now we’re seeing the fruits of that misguided strategery, including…ironically…the violence that they are protesting against.