Thursday, March 26, 2015

It Gets Better

        Sometimes it seems like the country is against us… against me.
        It took me a long time to admit to myself that I was a lesbian. Took me even longer to admit it to others.  Why would I admit such an awful thing?  It was wrong.  It was disgusting.  I would burn in hell.  I would never be happy if I lived that “lifestyle” so for a long time I didn’t.  Guess what… I still wasn’t happy.
        I was miserable.  If you look at my arms, you can trace the tracks of my misery.  I was so brainwashed that I punished myself for being something that was out of my control.  Being a lesbian was no more of a choice than being brown-eyed or right-handed.
        But, unfortunately for me, I believed a lot of the nonsense that I heard.  I lost a lot of years fighting against my authentic self.
        While part of me is resentful of the path I’ve traveled during those lost years, there’s a part of me that isn’t.  They say there’s a reason for everything.  I went through the fire and came out smiling on the other side.  My scars are signs of long, hard fought battles that I survived.
        And even with all the hatred and ignorance that still exists, I’m still standing where so many other gays and lesbians have fallen.
        I count myself as one of the lucky ones.
        And as one of the lucky ones, it’s time to share my story.  Time to speak up and out.  Maybe if I talk often and loud enough, garbage headlines like the ones above will begin to disappear.
        I would love to encourage others.  Maybe, my little blog will be read by someone who is like I once was.  Maybe I can be an inspiration.
        I hope you’ll read my story in future blog posts and share it with others.  I want the Sheons of the world to know that it may never be perfect, but it will get better.

"I Know Where I've Been"

There's a dream in the future
There's a struggle that we have yet to win
And there's pride in my heart
'Cause I know where I'm going, yes I do
And I know where I've been, yeah

Sunday, March 22, 2015

I Own My Crazy

I own my crazy
Carry it around like a newborn child
Wear it like a badge of honor
Sing its song from the mountain top
Because as long as I own it
It doesn’t own me

Sunday, March 15, 2015

A Teacher Did What??

           One of the many pearls of wisdom that’s floating around Facebook these days is that “common sense is not so common.”  That’s often the first thought that pops into my head when I read dumb headlines in the newspaper or online.  Some are just so unbelievably dumb that you have to laugh.
When I realize that a teacher is involved, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.  I know teachers are human and capable of bad judgment but these headlines blew my mind.  What were they thinking?
It’s hard to believe that college educated people can have done such silly things but it happens.  I’ve seen it first hand.  If we made the news, the headlines would read like this:

“Teacher Serenades Students Over Pancakes on the First Day of School”
“Teacher Hands Wig to Colleague then Challenges Student to Fight”
“Stop that Popping! Teacher Pulls Gum out of Student’s Mouth”

In my fifteen years at the same school, I’ve seen a lot of teachers come and go.  A lot, I’ve forgotten.  And some, like those mentioned above, I can’t forget.
        Mr. Y was one of the truly unforgettable ones.  He was an example of being young and, quite frankly, stupid.  It was my first year as technology coordinator and I was making the rounds doing updates on computers.  This was before we were able to push them out remotely.  When I get to Mr. Y’s classroom, I boot up his computer and am greeted by some suspicious shortcuts on his desktop.  I clicked on one and saw more porn than I needed to see on a Saturday morning.  When I explored his browser history more, it only got dirtier.
At this point, I didn’t know what to do.  I was not one who enjoyed having to report colleagues for a wrongdoing.  I decided to delete the shortcuts and clear the history.  The following week at our staff meeting, I asked the principal to discuss the district’s acceptable use policy.  Surely, the cleaned computer and this discussion by our principal would be hint that his secret had been discovered and that he would know not to do it again.
A couple of weeks later, I was at a morning meeting and he was absent that day.  At some point during the morning, a student discovered what had returned to his computer.  Not only was he surfing porn, he kept a journal of all the websites. (I guess if you find good stuff, you want to remember it later).  By the time I got back to campus, the computer, and the porn tapes found in his desk, had been moved to the assistant principal’s office.  I had to keep myself from laughing when I walked into her office and saw that she had thrown a jacket over it like some half-naked stripper.
Needless to say, he went bye-bye.  The principal showed up on his front porch and said his services were no longer needed.
        Ms. X was another unforgettable one. She was a character from the first time I met her.  I was outside with some students during lunch when she wandered over.  She told me she had just interviewed and was looking around the campus.  She asked me a few questions about the school and the way she spoke I thought she’d make a good teacher.  Before she left, she pointed to one of the boys and said, “He’s a cutie.  I wonder what his dad looks like.”  Not the strangest thing I’ve heard but definitely a little odd.
        Ms. X was hired as a social studies teacher.  She hadn’t been here very long before the weirdness kicked in.  She had a crush on the principal and didn’t mind sharing it with people.  Then, she started talking about having quickies in the parking lot and having alcohol in the car so that she could run out for a shot.  By this point, we knew we had a very odd duck on our hands and we had no idea how long she would last.
        Soon, Christmas break came and went.  There was a teacher workday between winter break and when the kids returned.  When we all came into the building that day, we were met with a stench like no other.  The custodians and administrators were running around the building frantically trying to figure out what was going on.  After venturing down the sixth grade hallway, the custodian found the culprit… a rotting turkey!
        Apparently, Ms. X had been given a raw turkey by one of her parents.  She was going to the basketball game that night so she decided that she’d prop open her classroom door with it so that she wouldn’t forget it when she returned to get her things.  I guess a cute parent or referee distracted her because she didn’t return to her classroom.  That raw turkey sat there in a locked up building for the entire two-week break!
        Soon after, Ms. X (who had come to be known as Turkey Lady) was asked to leave campus and not to return.
        I often find myself telling these stories to people who aren’t in education.  These tales are often met with a big dose of disbelief.  Sadly, they’re one hundred percent true.
        Sometimes truth really is stranger than fiction.

Sunday, March 8, 2015