Monday, August 18, 2014

Old School 101: Situational Irony, or How Did THAT Happen?

Sometimes, a close connection arises from dissension.

I enjoyed one of the most pleasant and supportive associations of my “teacher days” for nine years with a lady who told the world’s biggest lie the first time I ever laid eyes on her. Hell…insisted that a room full of my colleagues “chant” it along with her.

Not only was the “good doctor” joining the staff … leaving the staff to a better gig was the Assistant Principal who’d “mentored” my early years – and would later provide more sagacity, but I digress.

Over weeks, then months, finally two or three years (which included a change in school leadership), Doc and I took what may have been initially a superficial though amusing amiability to trust. I can’t think of a time she ever refused me a moment of her time and thought when I came a-knockin’. Even steered me to the next significant influence (the “Pure” Teacher) I seemed destined to find in my path.

Every so often in the course of the dialogue that finds its way into a classroom, I’d feel the need to offer to the discussion (certainly more concisely, though perhaps with a bit more tone) the odd-ball notion that “getting’-told-about-oneself” should be looked upon as an honor, not an insult. A person who thought you might “listen” brought you some information. Awareness is Step 1 in turning a stumbling block into a stepping stone.

If I was feeling particularly verbose or if the pace of our public school day seemed to need some fleshing-out, they might get my Coach Buckley parable.

The man under whose principal-ship Doc and my paths first crossed was a curious dude, to say the least … but I’ll never forget one thing he said – he was right, too.
These parents are sending us their best kids – they’re not just sending the bad ones and keeping the good ones at home.
Of course, it’s one thing to “talk the talk” … quite another to “walk the walk.”

In her own typically flamboyant manner, that’s exactly what Doc did – to the chagrin of some; to the benefit of countless – wearing a whole lot of different hats (both literal and figurative) along the way.

Best of all, there was no trace of superficiality in our rapport – occasional hostility, sure, but the kind that seems to fit with that “odd-ball notion” of mine.

Shared alumna-status and an acquaintance-ship that pre-dates my “awareness” of either keep Doc and my better-half buddies in some cyber-sense. Her rather distinctive first name, on the heels of a “Hey, I heard from …” never fails to bring a smile to my spirit, nor soon after a roll to my eyes.

Fitting “denouement” for a tale of dissension, digression, odd little notions, even irony of situation, eh?