Saturday, July 27, 2013

Marching in place

If only John Phillip Sousa (sp?) could hit the side of my CD player to move this music along...

When I was in grammar school there were a covey of teachers including the gym teacher, music teacher and 2nd grade teacher that were taken hostage in the Tel Aviv, Isreal airport.  On our new color TV my fellow students and myself watched the nightly news for word on the teachers.  It was our belief that if they were holding Miss R the music teacher hostage they surely would cave soon since her temper was legend.  She once broke a school desk with her baton so we were quite confident the terrorists would not survive her fury.  Miss Mc D was a stern but fair teacher that could keep 65 second and third grade students in the classroom (with the exception of Billy Sullivan who kept escaping) with a commanding stare.  It was Mr. F that I worried about the most, he had a hard time with groups of children and often turned red like an over ripe tomato.  Eventually they were released that summer and returned to their classrooms relatively unscathed.  Miss R still threw her baton with an amazing accuracy at passing tuba players; Miss Mc D married the love of her life; and the Math teacher actually became completely unhinged instead of the gym teacher Mr. F.

I suppose as a child we think of hostage-taking as an adventure.  Lately, I have been looking for a good adventure.  There have been times in my life when I could not wait for the next event to happen so I could be in the thick of the crowd.  Now I take my time wading into the sea of people and since I have become single again I notice that I talk to almost anyone that lends an ear.  At a concert just this week I was chatting with a friend when a man next to me interrupted our conversation to comment on the band.  He later apologized for the intrusion.  I completely understood his need to talk out loud.  Sometimes I am the only one that actually gets my jokes, or speaks directly to someone standing near me or asks a question -occasionally out of context- not really expecting an answer.  Oddly in this era of technology the people in their teen years and older seem completely oblivious to conversation unless it is via text.  This morning I found myself talking to children in a muffin shop within earshot of their parents.  The kids were too young to be on mobile devices and at 8:00 a.m. were far more articulate than their parents who were intently studying their I-phones.

This experience reminded me of Mr. F and his absolutely awful communication skills.  Even as first graders we experienced the pageant of physical fitness he engineered for the whole school every year.  I vividly remember in first grade being marched in formation, a fairly complicated matter for 35 first graders, through the gym.  I had decided I wanted to find my parents in the sea of adults seated in the bleachers.  It was really hard for me to follow instructions and look for the parental units at the same time.  So, of course I chose the logical course of action, stopped dead in my tracks and scanned the bleachers in a methodical manner top to bottom.  I did not notice the 50 child pile up behind me but Mr. F certainly brought me back to reality.  My parents told me when I was much older that they could not stop laughing at his red face and my abject look of horror.  I never did catch up with my class and apparently the show went on without any formation just hundreds of school children traversing the gym in random patterns.

Perhaps the lesson learned when I was young is that total chaos is often much more fun than marching in formation...

P.S. I did indeed go to see the tree hugger community as mentioned in a previous post in Michigan City, Indiana.  Yes I loved the concept but forgot that trees and ponds draw mosquitoes.          


  1. I thought it was Mrs. C, the school nurse, not Miss McD. Believe me, Mrs. C. was enough to make you wait until you had passed out from blood loss before you went to see her. But we found out early on that they let the women disembark (which we thought was because Miss R & Mrs. C were enough to make anyone quake in their boots).

    Also, we inherited the trait to speak to any stranger from our parents.

    1. Duly noted, and yes I think you were correct although why Mr. F was traveling with those two women is too disturbing for my adult mind to fathom...