September - time to go back to school. Don't get me started on school.
A necessary evil, that's the best I can say. But what can you do?
School is where kids first learn about power outside the family.
They may or may not learn other stuff there, but believe me no one
ever forgets having to fork over the lunch money to a goon or how
good it feels to be the one in the middle when three friends go
and Poppa: YOU may make a teacher quiver simply by raising one
nostril in dismay, YOU may scare the living daylights out of the
bully and all of the bully's relatives back to the ninth generation,
YOU may be the reason your precious figlio is not beat up
and left for dead, YOU may be really really smart, either school
or street,no matter. Your personal power can not be inherited like
your house or a favorite ring. Some day you will die and who will
protect them then? My advice to you is: back off.
Some school power comes from pleasing the adults in charge by doing
what they ask, raise your hand, be polite, work hard, all that.
The goodies come, no doubt about it, gold stars, pats on the back,
all sorts of benefits of the doubt in iffy situations., such as
when it comes down to your very good golden word against the word
of a mouthy trouble maker (especially useful if the trouble maker
is telling the truth. ) BUT: No teacher can protect you in a crowded
hallway during change of class, or in the locker room, you know
that. No parent can make you popular, they only get in the way.
Forget about it, you're on your own here.
to deal than squeal. Kick the bully in the shins, give it all
you've got. Other means of self defense include acting crazy, making
people laugh, either with or at. So what if you get in trouble,
small price to pay.
be afraid of sitting alone. That takes care of any popular kids
who think who they are. If you don't give a fig, they can't touch
3. Be loyal.
No one likes a two-faced flat leaver.
the game. This is life, get used to it.
expect thanks when you kick people in the teeth. By which I
mean, if for some reason the game does not appeal, which sometimes
can't be helped, such as when the teacher is a bozo and your self
respect demands that you make his life a living hell, remember no
matter how justified, especially IF justified, no one will be grateful.
All power should
be wielded in the interests of safety and justice, no exceptions.
If you don't know what those interests are, you have my address.
I broke my foot and I had to stay off it for six weeks, what agita.
I found some comfort in a poem you ran, about broken legs. I kept
it in my wallet, which unfortunately was stolen while I was trying
on shoes at the mall, the shoes were fabulous, on sale, 80% off
for all Joey O's. I don't even miss the wallet, it was old and I
have insurance on the cards. I'm not a fool. But I miss the poem.
Could you rerun it?
God bless, Donna
than broken eggs
might ruin your meal
not if you eat eel
it might be a problem
you're making breaded veal.
which case water or milk
help you deal.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Monk is a full time faculty member of Penn State University, where
she teaches creative writing, both fiction and non fiction. She
pursues freelance writing, authoring plays and feature articles.
She has broken nearly as many rules of family as she has enforced.
Rules of Family Archive