Many years ago, 26 to be exact, I was hired as part of anti-gang program using theatre as a means of conflict resolution. (I know, I know, but I was young and I had hope and it paid well.) This job turned into the first stage of my career as an arts educator. I spent over a decade teaching theatre at Inner City schools. It was worthy work, but low paid and very stressful. At the time I would often remark that I was the pawn between Good and Evil.
I meant it as a joke and a means to colorfully describe the fun found when teaching third graders to write fairy tale plays and the shock of discovering that top students had been expelled for gang violence. Although my life is a little more evened out, there are days when I am reminded that I am probably still the pawn or at least the comic relief for the cosmos.
I got a lot of sleep last night so I thought I would get a jump on some things for next semester. (My class is presenting Mass again on January 12, and I wanted to get an idea of what the readings look like so I can at least be slightly prepared when the music teacher passive aggressives me the week before.)
Guess what the reading for that day is? It’s from the book of Samuel, who apparently used his words to complain about Saul for several grim passages. Now, this particular passage I find problematic because after a very wordy intro, it goes on to this:
“He will use your daughters as ointment makers, as cooks, and as bakers.
He will take the best of your fields, vineyards, and olive groves,
and give them to his officials.
He will tithe your crops and your vineyards,
and give the revenue to his eunuchs and his slaves.
He will take your male and female servants,
as well as your best oxen and your asses,
and use them to do his work.
He will tithe your flocks and you yourselves will become his slaves.
When this takes place,
you will complain against the king whom you have chosen,
but on that day the LORD will not answer you.”
My students are 9 and even my best readers would fall all over themselves laughing at saying oxen and asses. I don’t even want to think about how I would explain what a eunuch is and why there is a place for them on this list. Did I mention that my best readers include two ESL students, one of whom has a slight lisp. (Guffaw all you want, I think I would find it funny if it wasn’t me.)
All of this gave me a headache, so I took a nap, and then headed out for my adventure.
One of my more challenging students gave me a $20 gift card to Barnes and Noble, and I have a coupon and wasn’t up to facing the wrath of Samuel, so I headed out.
As I entered I headed to the cafe for an Iced Coffee (It’s 75 degrees here and I can’t be expected to peruse books without caffeine.) I went to order and the Barista asked if he could get a name for the cup. I told him I had no idea what the cup wanted to be called, but that my name is Lynda. He wrote “Lynda’s friend” on the cup.
I did find a great book, had my coffee and have money left on my card. So weird stuff and good stuff all in the same short space of my day is reasonable proof of my place in the universe.
That and I couldn’t find my car so at least three people followed me as I aimlessly looked for my car. (Tee Hee)