Saturday, November 14, 2009


I walked into my classroom this morning and get about the business of the day. Health issues have kept me home for two days, and I am in a quandary to remember what I am doing. I look around and see what kind of mess has been made of my diminutive dominion. Normally, papers are scattered about, my chair is sitting on the other side of the room, and the trash can has been positioned latitudinally and longitudinally absent of scope, and utilitarian function. Not being disappointed in my expectation, I also discover the secretary’s chair is sitting under my desk. This accommodating piece of office furniture is significantly inferior and less substantial than the seat of authority (HA!) I normally position my egotistically asinine distinctiveness. In other words, my big ‘ol butt won’t fit in it.

I sail it out to the area in front of my faithful aide’s (and really sweet and smart lady) desk. I roll my throne back to its rightful place and gently seat myself. I sit gently due to the broken wheel that first came into disrepair as a result of abuse from, sadly, my big ‘ol butt.

I set about the morning ritual. Turn on the computer, get out the banana I usually eat for breakfast, and wait for one of my colleagues to enter my realm and share some wisdom with me about her students, or ask me for assistance with the online grade book we use. This morning she simply smiled at me, handed me a gathering of papers that I hoped was not her resignation, and walked away. I am particularly grateful for this lady. She teaches the elementary kids, and I do not know if I am capable of teaching those grades. The man I work for seems to think I can teach anything and has displayed this conviction by transferring me wherever he needs someone to teach without complaint. I have never told him about this blog, and do not intend to. Some things are better left to ignorance. Additionally, he really does not need to know the extent to which I am capable of whining and foot stomping.
I drop it on my keyboard, peeled my banana, and set about perusing the papers, only to discover that the first page had a decidedly nonacademic deportment to it. It was a certificate for “Outstand Achievement in Community Service.” Underneath lay a coloring book that she had her class put together. The theme of this book was the extolling of the fact that, during a portion of my misspent youth…I had the great honor and privilege to serve my country as a soldier in the United States Army. On the last page was the signature of all the students and staff of my campus. All I could do was weep. As I write, all I can do is weep. In the thirty four years, seven months, and ten days since I was released from duty no one has ever thanked me for being a soldier.

Yesterday, I received an e-mail from President Barack Obama thanking me for my service. In that same thirty four years, seven months, and ten days no politician has ever made me feel grateful for the opportunity to serve the United States of America…until yesterday.

Think what you may. Feel what you want. Say what you please. This is the greatest country in all of time. God Bless America

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