Change is tough, evolution is tough. We crave comfort and symmetry, knowing that things will be as we want them to be, as our parents said they would be.
Education is a great example. The pandemic has made us question how to reset the playing field. Do grades matter? Do classrooms matter? How do we learn? Does school matter? Do teachers matter?
Oh, but don’t stop there, does government matter? Does driving to my traditional job in my traditional high rise cubical matter? Does capitalism matter?
In a week we will put a very dark period in history behind us. An era that began with “Grab em by the pussy” and ended with “Are you a patriot or are you a pussy”. Two revolting statements from a revolting leader who led a revolting crowd to do a revolting thing last week.
But life goes on. We wake up, we prioritize, we plan, we create, we move forward.
Are you tired of being assaulted? Evolve.
Are you feeling it? I know I am. Sure, it’s not the traditional physical connection kind of assault but as an American, as a person who believes in the values of America, you watched the country be overrun by other Americans who have been so brainwashed by their leader that they sang the Star-Spangled Banner as they trespassed, vandalized, assaulted and destroyed one of America’s sacred democratic institutions.
Do you want to be like representative Andy Kim or are you representative Josh Hawley? Would you be cleaning up the capitol in shock or would you be throwing up the world’s most ironic black power sign in support of a racist mob? Simple question and one we should all ask ourselves as the dust settles and the consequences are handed out.
Obviously, we all need to follow Andy because this ride isn’t over yet and it won’t be over at noon on the 20th. It will be over when the 70 million followers decide that love is better than hate, that truth and science are better than deception and conspiracies, that Making America Great is accomplished with vision and hard work and connection.
We need to enforce the legal system on all people so that this does not rise again. The lid will go back on the sewer but it will be much harder to stop this circle of violence which we have accepted as normal. It is not normal and as a high school teacher I worry about how this will shape the next generation. Heck, I’m totally worried about how this is shaping my generation.
The circle of violence is just that, a circle. An episode happens then there is some apologizing and rationalizing: “Sure he can be offensive but he speaks his mind and I like that.” Then time goes by and we get busy and our upset fades until the next episode.
This time is different because unless we can convince 70 million people why they are wrong; we will be facing president Josh Hawley or Ted Cruz or (shudder) Donald Trump Jr. in a short 4 years. I’m not trying to be the ethics police but things are kinda messed up right now and we need leaders who understand that and want to change it.
Best case scenario: J’Biden (Pronounced JAH Biden) is able to provide opportunity for the 70 million while implementing a plan for Corona, The Economy, The Environment, Education, Homelessness, Hate and please cure Cancer while you’re at it Joe. The country turns around, president Harris continues the policies in 2024 and we all live happily ever after.
Real scenario: We evolve and learn from Corona and MeToo and BLM and stop the cycle of violence and accept our differences, working together as human beings first and labels second.
And if the whackos still want to establish Kekistan let’s give them their Nirvana in some uninhabited part of the US, like burning man but with guns and sexism. Sorry, that was a cheap shot but we still have to laugh, right?
Kids are resilient but they are looking to us for guidance and leadership. Especially now when their worlds are very small, their interactions are few and their connections are extremely limited.
Wednesdays are now my favorite day in the classroom because we saw a need (connection) and created a plan to solve the problem. We now spend 1:1 time with each student in breakout rooms going over not just grad plans and grades but goals and needs, we connect. Plus the schoolboard approved a change in our required graduation credits from 220 to 180 which means many more students will graduate.
Last Wednesday was the first day of the plan and I was exhausted but happier than I’d been in 10 months.
Then my wife texted “Protesters have stormed the capitol. Lawmakers are sheltering.”
1453 days down, one more week to go.