When I moved to Nashville I had a clear plan in mind: First get my teeth fixed. Next get a Teaching job. Then buy a house and write and vest in my community. Well two out of four and not complaining in the least, a glass half full and all.
With all the horrific things that happened to me in the last six years since my assault, prosecution, failed civil and criminal trials and appeals, regardless, I had to leave as that bridge was burned in ways that will never allow me to cross again when it comes to Seattle. When I find myself laughing at the ex Attorney now Junkie in rehab's suicidal missives on Facebook I do ask myself daily, "Who have I become?"
To take inventory of one's life is never easy and traveling through the low country last week I did none of it. I was too busy seeking adventure, satisfying curiosity and exploring an area of the country that I never thought I would ever see let alone want to. Funny how things change when you find yourself just on the cusp of age 60 being open to seeing and more importantly learning about other people not just yourself and all that relates to the world that we share.
As I wrote in the last blog post the way we seem to connect or more often fail to as it has all centered around politics. Funny that the world is a lot larger than the current events that dominate all aspects of life. Social media has enabled people to focus on the most negative if not destructive aspects of one's character and in turn led to perhaps more insanity than I ever thought I would witness in this life. The current round of package sending is another example of how damaged we are as a country and one should ask if you are even a small part of it by endlessly posting/tweeting your inner thoughts and rages? Note the Tweeter in Chief as an example.
So when I read endless posts that are largely preaching to the choir I am not sure what I should do with that information. The same with one whom I don't agree and what I should do with that information? Either/or the reality is that is not a conversation it is a lecture and what does one think they will accomplish? Change minds and hearts or pick a fight? I suspect the latter more than the former.
And when I moved to Tennessee I was clearly uninformed about the culture and frankly did not care. When you are running from something you are too busy looking backwards to look forwards and then when you do you crash into the wall you did not see. That was my arrival in Nashville and I look back at those 18 months ago I saw a disaster from the moving company issues, to the rental car problems (in those days I had never rented a car in ages as we had car share in Seattle and it was my first introduction into the revolving door of employees here) and my sheer confusion and haste to get things done that I should have stopped in my tracks and just waited to settle one thing before tackling the next. Hence my next move will be on my terms and schedules with no haste to get anywhere until I do. If one thing came out of Nashville it will be learning that and I will have the teeth I need and the book in hand in which to sell. First about the schools which have been the most significant factor in how I see this my temporary residence and the next about what it was like living here. By the time I pack my kit I will have lived in Nashville fewer years than Trump will in the White House. As the the saying goes: Fish like company stink after three days. In this we mean years and everyone should be aware of their own sell by date.
Self awareness is like common sense if everyone had it we would have a much smarter populace and clearly we don't. Educational levels have been fairly stagnant with some slight uptick (irony that the number parallels those in Tennessee) in those attaining degrees. But it is still a very low number and especially for those faces of color. But again the costs alone are prohibitive and with that milestones that mark that entrance into adulthood post college - buying a home, having a family, buying a car then upgrading said home and car - as well including travel for social or recreational pursuits or other signs of achievement are delayed. Student loans are not deferred however regardless and in turn regardless of what profession you are seeking, Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief. When a package warehouse worker is upset that their pay is been raised in lieu of stock options that are valued at 10K and thought of as retirement investment tells you we don't get math well or understand how those options work. A good example of a company that vested their interests in line with their company's was Sears. And you see how that worked out.
And while the media is decried constantly by the President I doubt he has ever read the "failing" New York Times, The Washington Post or any magazine or journal other than to fake the front cover to put his picture on it. Ask yourself when have you?
I was asked on a plane recently how did I know all what was going on in Nashville. Uh I read the crappy Tennessean, watch Channel 5 nightly news and review the Nashville Post and Business Journal and most of them recycle news from other sources, print press releases as news and rewrite copy given to them from an outside third party but it is still local "news." The reality is that buried often in the paper are facts that show how disengaged people are here from what is really going on and in turn this issue surrounds largely voting with Tennessee being the focus of an article in where? The Washington Post.
Ignorance comes in many forms and some is deliberate or willful ignorance but most of it comes from the inability to access education that enables one to learn essential critical thinking and analytical skills that come from well funded schools that have diverse curriculum and choice that is both close to home, has decent food, has time for play and time for exploration. The ed reformers are sure that highly scheduled and regimented curriculum with "individualized" instruction coming from an IPAD clearly proves that they have never set foot in a school in their life and have no idea who public schools are teaching.
Yesterday I met a Teacher who calls himself "Chef" as he is now two weeks in at a school teaching Culinary Arts. He has worked in the Navy and cooked at a large resort managing a large team to provide food which closed and he decided to move to the "It" City and take up teaching. He and his wife just relocated here from Baltimore so he is very familiar with being the minority among the minority and yet he too has found himself struggling with what we have defined as culture shock. I told him it doesn't get easier it just means you have to change in response to it and that is not easy as that it will have you question everything you know about yourself in ways that at a certain age is not easy. We spoke of the damaged children and their need to have you yell at them, the bizarre need to mock or debase you an adult, snicker, talk or simply ignore you as if you are invisible. I call it auto eroticism where they literally get off on this and do whatever they can to garner attention and all of it hostile and negative. It is perverse and disturbing and explains the endless sexual issues that dominate the news here almost daily. The past week brought more charges against Teachers/Coaches/Adults and sexual impropriety regarding students. Okay then. Add them to the already increasing numbers that are well into the quads now.
He also expressed amazement about how the children had never made food nor done any prep work before let alone be trusted with equipment. This from a district that has lead in the water and serves rotten if not garbage as food. He could not believe the lack of communication and even respect from his own Administrative staff and that the school seemed clearly to function as separate arms attached to a body that had no head. Yes I admitted that was the case in many schools and that this particular Principal came from another school that he managed in a year to do nothing, and I mean in a good way, to help a school function. It was at that school I was called a Racist, the kids went nuts and I left. He clearly was not far behind me to the door to take this gig and the school is supposedly moving locations in two years. I assume that he will bail before that nightmare begins. Nothing here is ever as it should so keep moving those deck chairs. This is what defines progress in the South.
As he left I wished him the best and said that he should just do what he is doing and know he is on his own but that is a good thing and that is all that matters. His class I was covering for I knew instantly was a problem as I had been warned so I let them go to the "library." Where they went I did not care and I told him before he left I don't care I just want order and whatever needs to be done to keep that I do it so there is no problems, riots or issues. Truly not caring is not a function I wish to have but I do have it to keep my sanity and my well being.
So when I read the Junkie's plea for help disguised in a suicide letter posted on Facebook I was less shocked by this but that people and their children were posting responses begging him to not and one hateful one from a Scientologist (not shocking) and he was in turn responding I thought of those who took their lives without warning and despite my original laughter I flagged the post to Facebook. I had already tried to reach out to him and he threatened legal action and I contacted his former partner and in turn was told to contact his wife. So one wonders where the wife is when all of this is transpiring and in turn the rehab facility he is or now out of allowing this to continue. So much is voiced about and on social media and its affect on people's lives I am not sure what at this point to do other than laugh or just turn it off. I laugh, I never said I was anyone's role model and the nasty, damaged, violent children have definitely rubbed off on me. I truly don't give a fuck. So much for reflections of the way I used to be. Maybe I always was. Sanity may be overrated, intelligence however....thumbs up!