The Infamous 10-4 Story

Today is Rosh Hashana, the beginning of Year 5775 on the Jewish calendar. This time of year always brings up the topics of renewal, return, repentance, and forgiveness. And the start of a new school year and a lot of the memories of why I do what I now do.
One of “war stories”, so to speak, about teaching is the year I ran an afterschool program. What a ride. The best story I have is the “administrator” who told me that 10 year-olds can only follow 4 rules. There was some minor political upheaval, the former director had left and they had recommended I take the position, I did. I will never volunteer for anything again when seriously jetlagged. The person who was supposed to be my supervisor took off to Florida, other people just outright told me they didn’t want to help, and another just appointed themselves “administrator.”
I will never forget sitting in the all-purpose room, after this “administrator” called a “meeting” with me, just me and them, and told me that did I know that students in “regular school” get “on average of 54 pieces of paper sent home a week” and that my two pages with the room rules and outline of the plan for the year was just too much over the top? (Their curly hair was bouncing up and down the whole time, I’ll never forget the way their glasses sat perched on their nose and their head bobbed throughout this whole experience.)
This “administrator” at that time worked as a “parent educator” for a local school district. To become a “parent educator,” all you needed was 60 hours of classroom training. How about having your own children?
This, after all these years, during these Days of Awe and forgiveness, is my response to them:
1. You are not the person you make yourself out to be to the rest of the world.
2. I do not forgive you for the hell you put me through. You underminded me, embarrassed me publicly, put down everything I said and did.
3. I know that when the new administrator came in the next year, you were the one who sent my email to all the parents. I still have a copy of it. I said nothing in that email but you knew people would take it out of context, because it was.
4. You do not have the balls to look me in the face or in the eye. I see you around town and you will not even look at me. You only smile and hug me (I see that knife, or is it a spoon?) when you have an audience.
5. You never had had the balls to admit what you did.
6. I did a huge happy dance when I heard the program and the organization shut down. You messed it up, even if you will not admit it. Yes, it began with you and nobody else wanted to believe it.
7. Did you ever count the Ten Commandments or the number of rules, usually 12,when you go swimming? I guess those children, now long grown, can’t do a lot of things because they can’t follow a lot of the rules.
Now how about a big smooch next time I see you? Happy New Year!


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