Oddly empowering

Published September 15, 2015 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I’m still jobless,a little too warm in the living room, but I’m in fairly good spirits. Last night I made my first appearance on a local stage in about 12 years. I wasn’t freaked out;  I was reading two of my short stories as part of a  Community Mic night.

One thing I discovered is that while I am a bit squirrely and left of center, I do not take myself too seriously. I also discovered that I’m not the only performer that gets yanked around by time weasels.  (It’s not much,but it’s comforting.)

I am on the substitute lists for at least three different schools right now so I may have some cash flow assistance soon.

Something I had to do before I could get on the list at two of the schools was attend a safe enviornments class. I have had to take similar classes at almost every stage of my teacher prep.  I took notes because I’m a nerd like that.   One major point is that everything in the class was the kind of thing we should already know by ways of being human and having common decency. (I know, I know, I live to dream.)  A casting mistake that so many of these video based classes make is that the predators shouldn’t look like predators. I may be the only one that thought so, but then, I’m always a bit wary of most new grown-ups who hove into my field of vision.  The Mom says that always been that way and that’s the reason one of my relatives is not a big fan of me; I can see right through her.

Anyway, one of the pitfalls that we were warned against and a sign of strange doings a foot are an adult’s preferntial treatment of a student or students.  As I  mentioned in my football rant, I attended Middle School and High School with a group of the same people.  In our Parochial school, we had a deacon teaching our religion class.  He clearly showed preferential treatment to one of the boys in our class. One day he told one of the girls not to be a DA (meaning Dumb Ass, which she was, but the polite thing is not to mention it. ) Well of course this got back to her parents and her father was the size of a small mountain and while I don’t think there was any actual avalanching, the Deacon didn’t return to teach us.

The Deacon showed up in our High School, but now he was a priest. None of us from the middle school were in his classes, which I don’t think was a scheduling coincidence.  My observation showed that he continued to go out of his way to show favor to the student from our Middle School.  I didn’t think much of this; I had more pressing things to concern myself with, like was Rebecca S laughing at my lipgloss, and how goofy did I actually look in my band uniform.

Junior year was the big “Making Moral Decisions ” class, this of, course was the big Catholic School Sex Ed class. Well, surprises all around, it as taught by The Deacon.  I think he was less thrilled than I was to be in the same classroom. In addition to the twisty irony of a priest teaching this class, there was the growing discomfort of being in a room with a teacher who clearly disliked me and a few other of the misfit toys from the Band/Theatre/Debate group. He much preferred communicating with the In crowd. All in all, the class wasn’t bad; we spent a lot of time watching The Breakfast Club.  (Probably why I can’t stand to watch this movie today.)

Years later, I found out that The Deacon had files charged against him for inappropriate contact with a student. The settlement was huge. I recently found out who exactly blew the whistle.   Looking back at what I know now, the signs were all there, not just in The Deacon’s behavior, but in the victim’s behavior. Had all of the teachers in my school been aware of the signs, someone could have changed the victim’s life.

Knowledge is a super power. Be a hero.

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