Thursday, October 30, 2014

Bubbles and more bubbles

Its the bubbles over your head filled with what you don't need to say. Hiding behind your lying eyes, you smile even larger. The bubble grows exponentially.

My dad was told when he was a young man by an old man that the world was messed up when he came and it will be messed up when he leaves. Can I get an amen.

One consequence of getting older besides getting to live a longer life is you notice more. I read a Facebook dust-up which started innocently enough. One woman's mother had Alzheimers and as most folks know, “It gets uglier and uglier.” It also may be her mother's late life disappointments.

Anyway, I understood what she meant. She had found some letters of her mother's when her mother had a more positive view of the world and it meant a lot. She had posted a beautiful picture of her mom in her twenties. Her mom was beautiful.

Anyway, comments devolved into a few competing in a perverse competition for the meanest mother.

The original poster was stating a fact not a judgment.

Anyway, it just got me to thinking about people and their relationships with their relatives. The only people who are never disappointed really don't have any or know any relatives. My sister had a friend who talked about being descended from some really high class folks. Oddly enough, he had no immediate relatives.

On Facebook, it is ironic that people block friends and family and tell all sorts of personal details to absolute strangers. In complete understanding, blocking may be a good idea at times. Except that bubble still grows in cyberspace, just not over your head any more.

The same woman who made the original post about her mother can write some funny one-liners. One was the post to her real and imaginary friends. I chuckled because I am one of her imaginary friends. However I really like her. I guess that makes me her good imaginary friend.

One thing that affected my grandmother's generation more than today's generation is their forthright honesty. They said how they felt.

Politically, it is expedient to hold it back. Hence that big bubble filling with what you really think. But I wonder if we would all do a little better with a little more frank exchange. How do you improve if no one points out your flaws. Much like a competitive runner runs with a faster runner to increase their speed.

When I started teaching, I held back some of what I felt the parent should know. One year, I felt it was my last year and I started saying what I thought. I would hear other teacher's backing up their chairs. But the parents would agree. They recognized I was not criticizing their child. I was sharing what they needed to do to be more successful. I did have a few parents in later years I let that bubble fill to the bursting point. But most of the time, I just laid it on the line.

One student I had was a troubled soul. Mom had a difficult time handling her children and supporting her family on a waitress income. Long story short, mom was evasive of the child's problems and the assistant principal could not come down hard on the kid. Same story inevitable, the kid's behavior got worse and worse until he burst the bubble two grades later.

I don't blame the mom for disliking me for insisting on action. Its just that the kid was somewhere between being a future high school dropout and college graduate. He became a drop out. In my defense, I was the teacher who had him half the day. He had to have some self control or the other students in the classroom missed out.

Along with being more honest, there was a term called having float my dad would use. Your friend makes you mad. The boss chews you out over nothing. You get over it. Move on with the future.

All in all, the more emotionally attached I am to an idea or habit; the more I will get mad with you for criticizing. I understand parents perfectly well. They love their children. Its this love that would want to mold them to be the best they can be. The waitress mom really did not see a bigger future than the world she lived in which was surviving to make it through another day.

It is good I retired when I did. I was getting really pedantic. A teacher across the hall would brag about her past partying and pot smoking. I told her I would not be bragging about those exploits. She also bragged about being in the gifted program. I had worked at that school at that time she attended (around 1980). Essentially, white children who lived in nice brick homes qualified for gifted. Besides, I had been in a gifted program in high school. What does it really mean to be gifted. Plus my giftedness was being very well behaved.

Back to the bubble, I could have used the bubble a little more. But in a conservative field like education, you do not share how you sowed your wild oats. One paradox in my life is that I have always been attacked for my failings. I have worked with others that have suffered little consequence for doing the same thing. Or at least it looked that way.

Anyway, the world will be messed up when I leave and I hope to still be able to see that. I want to go out with an alert mind and a character with some float and that bubble stuffed tight.


May your bubble not pop.

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