Far North Gift Distribution In Doubt As Trumps Imposes Tariffs On S. Clause LLC

[A US Army drone photo of the CEO of S.Clause,LLC in action.

Source: Google search, Golden Hill Studio.]

Washington, DC

A traditional world-wide gift distribution (known legally as S. Clause LLC) is in danger of being shut down on the evening of December 24 after President Trump declared it would hurt major American private business, notably Amazon, Google and even the government-run USPS.

“This tariff, it’s a good tariff, will help American workers, good people, I know a few, fine people, will have more money in their pockets to do their shopping at Sears and Wanamakers, fine American-run companies.”

When a reporter informed the President that both Sears and Wanamaker are either already closed or slated to shut down in the near future, the President shrugged and said that the Chinese, Japan and Argentina were responsible.

He made further remarks: “These goods entering the American market from a crappy third-world country that is no bigger that a large factory and an attached cottage. This gives them an unfair advantage. They don’t even pay taxes.”

Another reporter from the New York Times stood and asked about the President’s own taxes. He was ushered out of the briefing room by Sarah Saunders.

The President continued: “And what are these goods that are being delivered for free to the children? Toys. Not good. Kids don’t need those evil objects. When I was a boy, I was happy to play with a cardboard box, sometimes for hours. Good thing. Wonderful memories. With this tariff, I will make American cardboard boxes great again. Good thing.”

Secretary of Education, Betsy Devos stepped up to the bank of microphones. “There have been no studies that show toys make children any happier or more educated then, say, cardboard boxes.”

[Official White House photo of Mr. Trump signing the tariff order.

Source: Getty Images.]

 

A Chain Of Events Has No End

Black-Rose-02

The judge cancelled the restraining order setting into motion a chain of events…

I walked into my classroom on a September morning to meet my class for the first time.  I looked around the room of faces, hands holding pencils, open notebooks and staring eyes.  A chain of events was set into motion…

One in a hundred students would stand out in some inexplicable way.  You saw something in that person.  You stop looking at test scores and begin to see a personality. You listen to them, become friends with them. You let them tell their secrets, their fears and you laugh with them they are happy.  And, you comfort them when they cry.

You cared about them and you thought about their future.  They were yours for only ten months.  Then they moved on.  But you stayed friends with a few.  You followed their life as they became adults.  The best is all you can hope for them.

As the years pass, you think of fewer and fewer.  Your memory begins to fail you when you try to come up with a name or a an anecdote.

I recently received news that one of my former students, one whose artistic potential I could see very early…had come to a tragic end to her life.

She had become a teacher…a very good one, I’m told.  That one question, “I wonder what her life was like”, is now answered.

I’m too sad to cry right now.  I can only hope that she thought of me often like I thought of her.

I know the pebbles of encouragement she tossed as a teacher will have very long-lasting ripples.  Little circular waves that will go on for a very, very long time.

I was a single link in the chain of events of her life.  But, by her actions, deeds and love for family and students the chain will go on and on and on…

 

The Old Schoolmaster

SanJuanTeacherStatue

You throw a pebble, a small boulder that you can barely pick up, or a grain of sand into a pool of water.  If there is no wind, you can watch the ripples move out in perfect concentric circles, ever-widening.  The tiny waves keep going until they reach an obstacle and they bounce off into another odd and unexpected angle.

You can never determine the ultimate destiny of the ripples just created by your action.  But, they’re out there somewhere, still displacing another water molecule.

If there is a wind blowing–a wind that changes and causes eddies in the once-calm water, then whatever you started with your pebble is now out of sync with the ripples you hoped for.

It’s a little like being a teacher.  You stand in front of a pool of calm minds and you toss out a pebble of an idea.  How it affects the waters of a child’s brain is out of your control.  Whatever becomes of your comment or question is up to the gods, or the parents, or an uncle or a bully or a future husband or wife of the child.  You can only hope for something humble–like making the child’s world (or future) better by even the smallest degree.

A metaphor: You (as an educator) are like the bed of a vast ocean.  The limitless water is the mind of child multiplied by ten billion.  At the same time, you are the tosser of the pebble, the sower of seeds, and the wind that changes every day in a young person’s life.

It’s a heady feeling…all this power over a mind.  They sit and pretend they don’t hear you, they draw goofy pictures of you as a fool.  They roll their eyes and pass notes.  They flirt with each other and wait for the bell to end the class.

But, they’re listening…maybe with half-an-ear, but they’re listening.

They pretend they don’t like you and that they fear you, but they also revere you.  Most often, they spend more time with you than with their parents.

It’s a heady feeling…all this power over a mind.  But it’s also scary as hell and unsettling as a ghost story.

In a small public park in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, hidden by many buildings, is a statue of a teacher.  I don’t read Spanish, so I couldn’t tell if it was to honor a certain person or educators in general.

I saw this statue and saw myself.  Not that I deserve a monument–God forbid!  But, on the figures shoulders and arms were children.  He/she was the foundation of those lives.

But, I’ve held thousands of young people on my shoulders in 33 years of living in a cloud of chalk-dust.

I don’t want a statue.  I just want to know that a pebble I tossed in 1973, is still causing a small waves in someone’s life.  I didn’t want to change the world, but only wanted a young mind to think again about something and begin to ask their own questions.

I wonder.  Is there one 57 year-old man or woman, someone I taught at a 15-year-old at the start of my career, sitting somewhere and remembering me and my pebbles?