HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Strange Days

Thu May 31, 2012, 03:46 PM

Strange Days [View all]

I went to the high school this morning, to take care of some "school board business." When I left, I stopped at a "Quick Way" convenience store, to buy a copy of spiral notebooks .... I still do a lot of outlines and rough drafts by hand. Then, after I got home, I went out for a walk, to try to do a mental outline of a presentation that I have to do on Tuesday morning.

By chance (or not), I found two nice arrowheads .... one Levanna and one Madison .... a chipped fishing net-weight, two decorated pottery sherds, and a sinew stone. It's only the third sinew stone that I've ever found; the first one was stolen from me by a former co-worker in human services, who took about a half-dozen artifacts from me. Had he just asked, I'd have gladly given him some other artifacts, though I'd have kept that first sinew stone -- not only are they rare, but I had found it in a cave behind my parents' home, and so it had a special value for me.

Life is strange, sometimes.

On Memorial Day, a 9-year old boy from our school died as a result of a freak accident. It happened at a local parade, where he and his Little League baseball team were participating. A lot of students were there, including my two daughters. Both of them knew the boy.

One of the reasons that I ran for a seat on the board last year was because now that I'm retired, I have time to invest in something worthwhile. Our school is outstanding: the students get a great education, because we have a strong, caring faculty. It's a tough time for all public schools -- since the republican machine identified teachers' unions as Public Enemy #1. Cuts in state funding hurt all schools, and the rural districts in upstate New York like our's are really up against it.

But this is something very different than tax dollars and Albany bureaucrats. Because my specialty at the mental health clinic was "community crisis response," I immediately volunteered to serve in any and every way to provide support to the school. There has been a good response from the county mental health clinic, and professionals from surrounding communities. And they have been busy. Their work is really cut out for them.

Still, both faculty and administration need an outlet, and I've been glad to serve in that way. The little boy's funeral is tomorrow, and after the weekend, I expect that the shock will wear off, and people will begin to have even more need for support. On Tuesday, among the things planned, will be an assembly featuring speakers from a variety of backgrounds. I'm pleased that I was included in this.

What I plan to talk about is something that I've learned as a result of experiencing too many tragic events in my life, rather than anything I ever read in a text book at college. Without going into too much detail, I can sum it up this way: nothing good happens because of a tragic event, but a heck of a lot of good can happen despite the event. Indeed, that is a big part of the positive of human potential. Such tragic events can bring about the best in people ..... and we often find that in such times, ordinary folks can do extraordinary things.

And that, of course, is what is best in any society -- when people reach out and support one another, not because they have to, but because human beings really are good. And that's something that we should not take for granted.

When I spoke with our new superintendent today, I noted that he had come at a rough time. Not just the usual budget stuff, either. On the first day of the school, we had a flood that washed out the "dead end" road leading to the primary school, a heck of a start to the year. And there has been other strange events. Now this. He reminded me of a conversation we had a while back; a few community members had complained about his style of doing business, in part I believe because he is from a city, and not used to the much slower pace of "country culture." I had told these folks that, considering the crap we are having thrown at us from Albany, I think he might be the exact person we need right now. He told me that he keeps thinking of what I said, and in this difficult time, trying his best to live up to that.

As a parent, community member, and member of the school board, I'm doing my best, too. It's a tough time, and nothing less will do.

25 replies, 5332 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 25 replies Author Time Post
Reply Strange Days [View all]
H2O Man May 2012 OP
Robb May 2012 #1
H2O Man May 2012 #3
ManyShadesOf May 2012 #5
H2O Man May 2012 #8
ManyShadesOf May 2012 #10
zeemike Jun 2012 #17
H2O Man Jun 2012 #20
zeemike Jun 2012 #25
ManyShadesOf May 2012 #2
H2O Man May 2012 #4
NNN0LHI May 2012 #6
H2O Man May 2012 #9
Beringia May 2012 #7
H2O Man Jun 2012 #21
Mojorabbit Jun 2012 #11
H2O Man Jun 2012 #22
byronius Jun 2012 #12
H2O Man Jun 2012 #23
Mira Jun 2012 #13
H2O Man Jun 2012 #14
Zorra Jun 2012 #15
Paka Jun 2012 #16
NBachers Jun 2012 #18
stlsaxman Jun 2012 #19
OneGrassRoot Jun 2012 #24