REAL LIFE: For Ms. NTF, wherever I may find her

3.3.08 , Posted by Geoff Thorne at 19:12

When I was in high school I was called before the guidance councillor, Ms. Name Thankfully Forgotten. 

She was a skinny mahogany pole of a woman who smelled of something musty. She took a dim view of me and my activities which, while not truly delinquent, were certainly outside her frame of personal reference. 

After a fairly stellar academic career and a stack of extra curricular activities, our difference of personality led this lovely woman to tell me that the career I should prepare myself for was one at the end of a mop. 

Now, there's nothing wrong with being a janitor. There's nothing wrong with ANY job that you do well and in which you take a certain pride. My folks raised me to respect every person who warrants respect and job description has never been the determiner. 

Ms. Name Thankfully Forgotten's intent is what is important here, you see. She found me, for whatever reason, the wrong sort of student. Too mouthy maybe or not as perfectly respectful of adult authority as she deemed appropriate or maybe she just didn't like me. Whatever. 

She sat me down in her office and, under color of her authority, proceeded to map out the rest of my life as she saw it. She wanted, in short, to hurt me. A child. 

Now I'm no angel and I wasn't then. But I never did anything wrong enough to merit even a reprimand from a teacher much less get suspended or even detention. And, it must be said, I didn't much care for Ms. Name Thankfully Forgotten either. 

Still I had the good manners to steer clear of her whenever possible. Why tempt fate, right? 

But she had it, as some might say, in for me and she made no secret of it. She tried, at the end of my senior year, to take this one last crippling shot at me. Needless to say, it didn't work. 

I've never been one to let somebody saying mean things to me slow me down. But it did piss me off. A grown-up trying to hurt me for no reason? Trying to wreck my life, my sense of self, just because she could? No. That was wrong. 

I can only imagine she did it to others both before and after I came along. I can just picture those other kids, who, for whatever reason, fell outside Ms. Name Thankfully Forgotten's idea of the norm. 

Maybe they weren't all stiff-necked bastards like me. Maybe some of them actually took those edicts of hers to heart. Not everyone has the kind of parents I have or the sort of ego that gets angry at attacks rather than folding up shop. 

I can imagine some of those kids, if not folding, at least being hampered by the ghost of that ugly little woman and her ugly little mind. I can imagine it well. 

I've met plenty of adults in my adult life who are complete bastards to children just because they can be. Viewed through adult eyes they're nothing more than pathetic cowards but to a child they can be like the voice of doom. And they know it. 

They move through life being Absolutely Right about Absolutely Everything and punishing anyone who falls Outside. Well. Anyone they can. 

I have to say that I actually hate people like them. Life's plenty hard enough without them mucking it up for the rest of us. I wish they would all go away. But they don't. They stay and muck and cripple. 

So, it's up to us, when we can, however we can, to let them and each other know that they aren't right. Not about us and not about the world. 

It's hard, sure, even brutal on occasion, but it's not evil. And being Outside one sect only means you're In another, maybe a larger, maybe a better one. 

They're not right. 

Spread the word. 

 And, if anyone reads this and knows this woman (presuming she's still with us), maybe pass this next little tidbit on with a kiss from me. 

You were wrong. 

About all of us.

text is copyright © 2008 geoffrey thorne, all rights reserved
the videos, obviously, do not belong to me.

Currently have 1 comments:

  1. Anonymous says:

    Those that profess to "know" often have their own set of Samsonite they are carrying. Hard to know that at a tender age. Many congrats on the ranking!!