|Leave those Kids Alone!!!! All in all you're just another brick in the wall.|
I may have wanted to paint something representative of Pink Floyd's The Wall II for quite some time. And by "quite some time" I mean since Labor Day 1992. I was riding in my cousin's maroon, two door Pontiac Grad Am with the windows down, holding the TAPE case. Being the highly oppressed rural Oklahoman 9th grader I was- I totally identified with the lyric "We don't need no education! We don't need no thought control". So maybe things at Oktaha High School weren't oppressive so much as well...I did not like school AT ALL....and I never did. And I probably never will. I'm so serious. I NEVER even played school as a kid. If a friend of mine said to me "hey let's play school!" I would punch her in the mouth for even saying the word...then I'd declare our friendship over-stating the obvious "you don't know me!" Look people I was a hard core 3rd grader. I did not mess around. I might have played a game called "boss", were I got to be the boss of everyone. (shocking I know!) I also played "All Skate" I would assume ownership of my very own skating rink in my parent's garage (I charged the neighbor kids to skate in a one car garage to the only record I owned. Yes, it was Queen's "Another One Bites The Dust" and yes, I played it over and over AND over again. Me and my sister Aims would also play "Firework Stand" where we would gather used fireworks on the 5th of July and pretend the deep freezer in the skating rink/garage was our fire works stand. Yes, we did sale the used fireworks to the neighborhood kids. No, I do not know why anyone would spend money on suit covered trash the day after a national holiday. Nor do I know why after one round of "boss" anyone would return to play again but I do know two things. 1. I was a hustler-I mean seriously? I charged my friends to skate in my garage??? and 2. I did NOT play school.
No one certain event caused this detest of the institution of learning-I even had amazing teachers and I never struggled to excel. Just because I COULD do the work did not mean I wanted to people. Point is, I was one of "those" kids. I faked sick all the time and later got real honest with my mother and said "not going to school today. It's cold outside and I want to stay home." or "I already read the work for my first two classes and I'm sleeping late in the morning" (if you know my mother you understand she allowed this). I did not and do not hate learning, and I never shy away from a challenge, I just did not like the practice of sitting at a desk and being quite for hours at a time.
As an adult I realize what a major job being a teacher must be. I mean I was a good kid by all standards and I had to have been a challenge in the classroom. I can't imagine the pressures and expectations a school teacher faces now. I appreciate the role a teacher plays (and played in my own life) building into and protecting young humans and instilling in them a basic understanding of the foundation of knowledge. All the while being inspected and often criticized. I value the role of the teacher as a true calling. I respect all the more a person who not only teaches but invests in the children with great pride and passion. I applaud the teacher who can't "leave those kids alone" and I admire the true artist, magician, baby sitter, nurse, councilor, entertainer and friend a great teacher has to be. Whatever accolades and awards you have received are minor by comparison to the unseen victories in which you have played a part. I can't imagine a bigger job than that of a "brick layer" in the life of a child. I am certain you have not been thanked enough and I am certain you will continue to do the work of a mason in spite of this. Those facts are why if for no other reason, you should commemorate every award you are given.
I would now like to take this opportunity to say I'm real sorry to anyone who was ever my teacher and or baby sitter....okay while I'm at it, also sorry to the neighbor kids who payed for used fireworks.