(Moving) Foreword

Published June 8, 2017 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

The intended pun in the title is a play on the phrase “moving forward” combined with what I will hope will be a moving (emotionally) foreword for my next published tome.

I’m fairly certain that most people who may stumble across this blog will understand this, but I’m looking at this from the perspective of a teacher who is STILL IN THE CLASSROOM ON JUNE 8.  This is not an inservice day, it is a regular school day. You may ask,”Why, Writer Chick, aren’t the kids balky and horrible, having to come to school while EVERY OTHER SCHOOL IN THE STATE is on summer break? ” Yes, yes they are. The teachers, at least this one are even worse.  I’m pretty amazed that I haven’t shoved/punched/kicked anyone yet.But after today we still have one more day and two days of inservice left.

I am vexed and frustrated by all of it. It’s hard to single out what bothers me the most.  It may be that even though  I am not qualified to teach our Special Ed Student, a fact that mentioned/proclaimed/screamed for the entire first month of school, but has fallen on deaf ears because there is no one else to teach him. Or it may be the fact that lot of this week has been running in place  until the clock winds down, but I still have to deal with a student who should have been sent home or possibly executed because his negative comments to his fellow students are planting seeds for future therapists to harvest, or it could be the fact that I am exhausted by the nine hour school day multiplied the stress that five late paychecks in one school year have caused.

A by-product of this year is my current attempt to be brutally honest and specific because apparently no one is understand the words that are coming out of my head unless I spell it out.

Yesterday was rough because we had the planting of the tree in memory of the student who was murdered back in February.  This was scheduled in the morning, after which we had the full school day. So once again, the teachers who loved this child were not allowed the comfort of  a good long cry so that we can begin to heal.

Wow, that sure was a long rant to get to the point.

Another by product of this long, long school year and my long, long expensive drive is that I have had the chance to listen to podcasts and learn some new things.

I listened to an episode of This American Life yesterday.  I’m not sure if I’ve heard this one before or if it sounded familiar because I’m very familiar with the topic-“Call me Fat.”

I think I commented on this before, but this time I have  a name.

Lindy West, who sounds like someone I would totally be friends, is a contributor to many of my favorite magazines/blogs. Her new book, Shrill, also sounds good. So good that I just bought it on Amazon, full price and brand new!

There is a quote from the book that rings true to me, mainly because I will always feel like the fat girl. Even when I was below my ideal weight. (Sometime in the late eighties it didn’t last long) I still felt like the fat girl. Possibly because even at my ideal weight, I am still considered on the fluffy side of perfect. I blame my hearty peasant stock.

I am mostly ok with myself. My fat has not kept me from teaching or writing or reading or doing anything that makes up my real life.  I am also famine and drought resistant. And as I used to say, “In that first nuclear winter, you’re gonna want my big ass pulling a plow for you, and not that twig girl you just eye molested.”

But there fat girl inside  and outside of me , really got something out of the following quote.  This is directly from the This American Life’s podcast transcript.

Act Five. An Immodest Proposal.

Ira Glass

Act Five, An Immodest Proposal. So here in the podcast and the internet version of our radio show this week, we are adding this. I just thought it would be nice to end the show with one last anecdote from Lindy West’s book. And this is kind of an uplifting one. I hope that’s not bad to say.

Lindy is married to this guy, Aham, and raising his kids with him. And as she points out in the book, he is conventionally handsome, very tall. And when the two of them are out together, sometimes people assume that because he is slim and good-looking and she is fat that they’re not a couple.

Even if they’re at a bar holding hands, looking exactly like a couple, people say stuff to them like, so you guys roommates? Women hit on him in front of Lindy. She read for me– and this is what we’re going to close out with today– the story of their engagement.

Lindy West

Aham took me out for dinner on my 32nd birthday, then suggested a quick nightcap at our neighborhood bar. Everyone was there. It was a surprise. Our friends, our families, the kids, a cake. Aham took my hand and led me to the back. There was a paper banner that said my name.

Our friends Evan and Sam were playing a duet on cello and bass. I was confused. Why were there somber strings at my birthday party? Why was Aham doing intense face? Wait, it’s almost 10:00 PM on a school night, and we’re at a bar. Why are the kids here?

Then it all happened at once– the knee, the ring, the speech, the question, the tears– all the hits. It was a full-blown grand gesture. Later, I asked him why he did it that way– such a big spectacle, such an event, not precisely our style. And I expected something cliche but sweet like, “I wanted to make sure our community was part of our marriage,” or, “I wanted everyone to know how much I love you.”

Instead, he said, one time, when you were drunk, you told me, “if you ever propose to me, don’t do it in the bullshit way that dudes usually treat fat girls– like it’s a secret, or you’re just trying to keep me from leaving you. Thin girls get public proposals, like those dudes are winning a fucking prize. Fat chicks deserve that too.”


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