Monthly Archives: September 2018

Mauled by a Bear … sorta

IMG_4872I just got back from the Emergency Room. Lots of blood, pain, and 8 stitches in my left shin from being mauled by a bear. … No, really, a bear! … Okay, a small bear. Think Paddington kind of bear. It was, after all, only 8 stitches. … No? … Fine, the real truth is that I got mauled by the corner of the dishwasher door. The stitches are real, but the bear maybe not as much. But any good journalist will tell you, though, to never let the truth come between you and a good story. So I’m sticking with the bear.

Let’s face it, we’ve all done it. If you’ve spent any time at all in a kitchen and have experienced the posh luxury of not eating on paper plates, then you’ve probably caught your leg on the open dishwasher door at some point. And it hurts. I, however, can’t just bump my shin, mutter some form of the word poop through gritted teeth, and then move on with my life. No, I have to go full combat mode. And lose.

When the ER doc looks at your leg and says, “The dishwasher did this to you? Through your jeans? Wow. I mean, I can see your tendon” then you know you’ve pretty much done a number on your shin. At the same time you start feeling a little stupid for being so badly roughed up by a kitchen appliance. That’s why you need a bear.

I think the only thing that impressed the ER doctor more than what brought me there was how I reacted to getting it fixed. When he shot me several times in a part of my leg that is nothing but nerve endings and bear drool, I commenced with a vocabulary that would get me inducted into the Marine Corps. The guy in the next room may have needed to add heart attack to his triage notes. And the kid in the waiting room who thought he broke his arm, thought again. Pain killers should not hurt that bad.

So if anyone asks what happened, I was mauled by a bear. A Whirlpool Gold Series Bear. With delay start option. And moving forward, my trust issues include the microwave and the refrigerator. And I’m totally good with paper plates.

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Blessed are the Teachers

st-john-baptist-de-la-salle-2School is back in session. Teachers, unsung warriors that they are, have once again manned the battle lines to fight for the ongoing education of the next generation. Truly there is no level of sainthood great enough to crown the heads of these bold, brave souls who selflessly walk into the classrooms of darkness and shine a light. Let us pray.

Blessed be the elementary school teacher. Kindergarten teachers who fight the battles of noses that will ceaselessly run snot, shoes that refuse to stayed tied, and 5-year olds who are genetically coded to ask 43.2 million questions before noon of every single day. First- and Second-grade teachers with classrooms full of children refusing their lunches because they spent the morning eating crayons, boogers and Elmer’s glue. Third- and Fourth-grade teachers facing down the “indoor voice” that is perfect if indoors is a jet propulsion lab.

Blessed are the middle school teachers who have mastered the art of not laughing until the students can’t see them. Theirs is the world of “Stop that!” “Keep your hands where I can see them,” and “Bring the signed permission slip or you can’t watch THE video.” Not that THE video is going to teach anything that hasn’t already been learned on the bus.

Blessed be the junior high teachers. Theirs will be a consecrated, shiny, elevated place in Heaven for this is the special ops, SEAL team branch of teachers. Lord! Extra prayers for them!

And blessed be the high school teachers. They possess a special gifting to juggle the Ivy League auto-accepts and the unwed teenage mothers, the class president, the class clown, and the kid dealing drugs out of his third-period gym locker. They must face the AP, SAT, ACT, standardized, and the daily test of the parking lots at school.

Bless the teachers as they navigate helicopter parents, school shooters, and an education system that seems determined to break their spirits and their bank accounts. They have accepted a profession – no, a calling! – that is critical and pivotal. And not just because the nuclear waste dump wasn’t hiring. They do it for the love of the job or because they have a serious screw loose. Most likely both.

Say a prayer for them, then hug a teacher because if they didn’t do that job, who would? Me? I don’t think anyone wants that!

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