Wednesday, March 4, 2020
After My Sabbatical: Tiny Tidbits About My Last Job
I have not actually been on a sabbatical, although I wish that I had and I wish that I could return to somewhere, anywhere back to reading and writing and otherwise not taking part being part of this period in the world's general history, the triumph and toppling of materialism and stupidity the emperor with no clothes the professional sports world the cult of celebrity the impossibility of publishing the tyranny of the politically correct and most of all the rise of Bernie. I just do not feel the bern the burn the whatever it is you who do do. My younger sister worked as an intern for Bernie back in the last century or should I say millennium and every time I see the Bern or Bernie I think of what she heard every day for the duration of her internship and that was Jennifah! Get me a tuna on rye!
I was, am a Warren lover, and I don't understand why an energetic intelligent woman with many plans, a woman who's fought successfully against The Man the bankers the corrupt the plutocracy and has a history of sensitivity for the disabled for children for special education is losing has lost to two elderly men one who's nearly doddering who sat and railed against Anita Hill back in the day, his day when he should have done better and the other who screams more than talks who has visions and no realistic plans who had a heart attack quite recently and whose followers are legion but include easily IMHO as the kids say the same sort of dense folks who back the naked emperor in chief just from the other side of the proverbial coin. And if they're not those followers, the bros or whatever they're called, I suspect they're following him because it's cool to like someone so uncool.
I will very much support the Bern the Burn if he is the person who runs against the Piece of Shit.
I've thought about things to write in this space, ways to communicate and what to tell you, dear Reader and I come up short. I bought a green bra and panties the other day, the most lovely color green. I flew to Atlanta to visit my mother and my father, had a wonderful time hanging with them, realizing that I am so incredibly blessed to have parents who are truly parents. We don't see eye to eye on politics (they're best left unsaid) and their views are such that I've felt near despair over the last four years, especially, but somehow it didn't feel that way this visit and I'm not going to wonder why.
Buried deep within this post is a tidbit. A tiny tidbit. On one of my last days at the ultra-Orthodox Jewish girls' school where I worked (see previous post), there was some talk in the teachers' lounge about Trump, and Mitt Romney had just voted "Yes" to impeach the PieceofShitPresidentoftheDisunitedStates and I never, never, never talked about my politics in this place because there's no good in talking politics when Israel is part of the equation but I said I just didn't understand how anyone could support That Man and someone else said, "He loves Israel," and so I stood up and said, "I can't be involved in any conversation that supports That Man," and I walked out and into the office and sat down to do a little grading while I steamed. The thing is, Reader, at this school I was prevented from teaching anything that had anything that was suggestive of romance. I mean things like longing gazes in a Willa Cather's Song of the Lark. I mean suicide in Marilyn Robinson's transcendent Housekeeping. I mean the word hell in an article from The New York Times. I mean Nathaniel Hawthorne's rich allegorical short story Rappaccini's Daughter because it mentions The Garden of Evil. When I referenced the great Spanish architect Gaudi in a poem we were studying by a contemporary deaf poet named Raymond Antrobus and asked the students if they'd ever been to Barcelona and they said yes and I asked whether they'd seen the amazing cathedral and one girl said, What's a cathedral? and because I'd been teaching there for a year and a half, I knew there was a distinct possibility that a seventeen year old girl might not even know what a cathedral was, I told her. Then I was told We are not allowed to go into cathedrals, and I said, Oh. And this was later confirmed by one of the Powers That Be and still I said Oh when what I was thinking was that we are all screwed here in this world. Back to the office where I sat sweating and biting my sharp, sharp tongue that so desperately wanted, was trying with all its half-century honed might to scream:
You protect your daughters from reading Nathaniel Hawthorne and Willa Cather but support the Pussy-Grabber-In-Chief?
Reader, it's a good thing that I am no longer working at this school. I learned a lot there -- about intolerance, to tell you the truth, and about its masks. Given these girls' behavior in general -- which was, frankly, closer developmentally to those who've just entered adolescence than those leaving it for marriage and babies -- I can only surmise that their rituals, their blind belief system and oppressive rules and regulations regarding every single thing they wear, eat and do make them uniquely unable to live in the world, much less listen to their silly, old lefty progressive English teacher, Elizabeth Aquino.
Did I mention how stressful it was dealing with this school and these girls and the idea that there are legions of people out there preventing 17 and 18 year old females from reading Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own because it would just open the floodgates (one of the teachers actually said this to me) yet supporting a serial sexual assaulter and vile racist misogynist because he's been so good to Israel? Did I tell you about the Cup-o-Noodles girl last year? The sad thing is that I was so into my job last year.
Jennifah, get me a tuna on rye!