Thursday, November 13, 2008

philosophizing, or something like it

"It is what it is."
--Thomas E. Gemkow, via phone conversation the other night

(plus, a million other people who use that phrase, his mom included)

So...

I'm back in Florida. I had a FABULOUS TIME on my vacation. I spent quality time with my sisters. I saw DC for the first time since I was thirteen. I volunteered for a successful presidential campaign. I danced in the city streets. I saw Van Gogh and Manet and Roudin. I drove through the autumn-covered hills of Virginia. I began the amazing process of planning the Montreat Middle School Conference in 2010 with a great partner in Neeley.I tried to upload the photos but I can't find the right cord. I came home to a broken tv, but also to a bunch of friends I sorely missed! Including my happy puppy, Mr. Puck.

Yet. I'm disappointed.

To go from such a high with Obama's election to come home and have a parent attack me over something I can't control (a substitute told the students she voted for Obama) and offer me up as a sacrifice to the school board is an exhausting process.

To get on facebook and read things like, "I'm not racist, but I think all black people are lazy. I mean, I have black friends who work and stuff, but Obama wouldn't have won if all the lazy black people didn't vote," leaves me uneasy and bewildered.

To see Florida pass Amendment 2 and California repeal Proposition 8 feels like ten steps in the wrong direction. Actually, the combination of all these things makes me want to vomit. Two, maybe three times.

And last night I found myself saying, "It is what it is."

Then I remembered listening to Reggie Weaver's final sermon during our "Live Out Loud" Middle School Conference. Reggie said that even though you will find yourself down in the valley, among the non-believers and people who want to bring you down, the most powerful thing you can do is live out loud. Don't give up. Live. Out. Loud.

I know not everyone shares me ideas about politics - but race isn't politics. Fairness and Equity and Civility are all things I embrace in my life. I refuse to succumb to apathy. I am going to live my life in the best way I know how, and give equal love and appreciation to all people, in hopes that some day, they will do the same.

This isn't what it is.

WE are what it will be.

3 comments:

emilysuze said...

1) How are you now in trouble for something a sub said? And parents can be so ridiculous. I can only hope I never terrorize an innocent teacher.

2) I have the same feelings as you about Prop 8 and the election of Obama. It's so amazing to the ignorant things people say in this age of so-called enlightenment and progress.

3) I'm very happy that you found time to blog in the midst of all of the craziness! :)

The Working Girl said...

Yes, and oddly enough, the parent didn't complain when the math teacher told the kids she voted for McCain. The whole basis of her complaint was that "politics has no business in a language arts class". Umm, ok. But this woman also doesn't believe in global warming, so I'm just praying she gets to the Y and learns how to swim.

tscogemkow said...

I am happy with the fact that you used my middle initial.

Makes me sound regal :-)