The irritation on President Obama's face was easy to read as he displayed his birth certificate. It was easy to assume I knew the depth of his feeling, I too thought we as a nation had better discussions to spend our time on. Sunday night as I was driving my son, Lee, to the train station I heard the news about Bin Laden. As it became clear that he had been watching this closely for a week I knew his frustration level with the birthers was both deeper than his face had showed and was completely justified. He really did have better things to do.
At this point I am going to compare my small problems with those of the U.S. President. Bear with me. During my April board meeting we discussed teacher evaluations. It became clear that a man who I feel to be a great teacher was about to lose his job and their was not a damn thing I could do to stop it. Another teacher, who is not the best teacher, was also going to be asked to leave, not unusual, except that we all knew he was also going through a serious personal issue that his job loss would compound. We also discussed several minor issues such as the buying a new vehicle and alleged drinking on the senior trip.
Our meeting lasted until 1:30 in the morning. Afterward I showered and lay in bed thinking about the families of the two men we had discussed. This is a small community. Everybody knows everybody and their families. The great teacher and his wife are friends of ours. We have talked over supper, laughed over drinks, shared clothes, parenting tips, and inside jokes. His children would have to change schools. The community was going to lose a good worker and organizer when his wife moved. I really felt that as a board we were making a big mistake for the community and an even bigger one for the school. Great teachers are hard to find.
When I woke at 6:30 I had gotten little sleep. No one would know about the teachers for a while. All day at work I carried around my worries. At home I looked at the clock and decided I had time for a short nap. I curled up on the sofa by Beezus and closed my eyes. Twenty minutes later the phone rang. It was a friend, who also happens to be a teacher, she disagreed with our decision on the senior trip. I tried to stay calm. The conversation was heated, at one point I mentioned that we had more important things to worry about. After the phone call I was irritated, angry, and more than a little hurt. Being exhausted amplified these feeling. The phone rang. It was Drama Queen. She started yelling curse words at me. Apparently I am not raising her children up to her standards. I was also allowing them to have visits with their father, which he has legal rights to, and she was angry. Usually I just stay calm when she is like this and wait for her too calm down too. This night I yelled into the phone "I am not in the fucking mood" and hung up. She called back apologized then started screaming again. I hung up. She sent several texts which I ignored. She called again. Jason answered I could hear his quiet voice talking to her,saying that I was not coming to the phone. I was laying with Lane on his bed. My children are used to me being on an even keel, not laying on a bed crying. Jason came back to the room and both boys lay with me while I cried. I have great children.
Later I went to the local office to do a bit of work. I had decided that there seemed to be a split between what the school board should be focused on and what everybody else wanted us to focus on. My time on the board is donated, my sleepless nights ate given with little reward. I was willing to donate this time for the sake of the school, however, I was not willing to give up this time for stupid arguments that mostly stemmed from previous arguments and hurt feelings. I wrote my resignation letter and sent it out to the board and administration.
I was concerned that when the emotions cleared I would regret leaving the board. A week later I felt pretty good about my decision. There had been a flood of positive responses to my letter asking me to reconsider. I had talked to two of the administration members, who I have respect for, and agreed to give my resignation more thought. After two weeks of thought, and several more conversations, with that same friend I had fought with, I still felt happy with my decision. The friend had called me when the great teacher put in his resignation. She apologized, she knew then what I had alluded too, and agreed that this was a much bigger problem. I was happy to be off of the board and have this weight lifted from me.
Then one evening dh came home and mentioned the two men who were vying for my position. Not two men really, but two douche bags. A phrase I mean in the strongest possible way. My mind played forward what meetings would be like with either of these two in attendance. I thought of the what this would mean for the teachers, it would not be good, and the students. I rescinded my resignation. In two years when my term is up I will rethink my position again. If either of these two are to be on the board they will be there because they were elected, not because I handed it to them.
All of this to say that our president has important decisions to make. Could we please insist that the media educate us on these things? Could we talk about our future as a nation and not every stupid thing that some idiot throws out as a talking point?