Wherever there is injustice, you will find us. Wherever there is suffering, we'll be there. Wherever liberty is threatened, you will find...
Those of you who know me well know that I can sometimes I can get pretty fired up. There are a few distinct experiences from my past which evident this. Actually there are probably more than a few, but that's beside the point.
Case Study #1: Bus Driver vs Defiant Fourth Grader
Perhaps you have long since forgotten the days of riding the big yellow school bus. Let me refresh your memory. First off an unspoken hierarchy exists in regards to elementary school in general. In the case of riding the bus it's no question fifth graders automatically sit in the very back of the bus. The reasons for this are quite apparent to any self respecting fifth grader. First it establishes your position at the top of the social hierarchy. Secondly you create the largest amount of distance between you and the authority figure on the premises, the driver. Third, a trip on the old yellow school bus is somewhat like a mini amusement park ride, and all the kids know you definitely catch the most air off any bumps or pot holes when sitting in the back! Naturally if the fifth graders are in the back of the bus the other children follow suit and we have none other than the first two row reserved for our dear little kindergartener's.
Which leads me to remember the demoralizing act of going from "King of the Bus" in fifth grade to being a lowly sixth grader in middle school and having to once again sit in the first few rows. As if this transition was not hard enough the eighth graders in my school felt the need to initiate the sixth graders daily by spitting handfuls of sunflower seeds at our heads.
Anyhow, now that we've reminisced and set the scene, imagine the fourth grade version of me. I pretty much looked exactly the same except I was shorter had bangs and very nerdy glasses. Personality wise I still had a large amount of social propriety in public and was pretty much a non-confrontational easy going child (at least that's how I remember it).
So one afternoon back in elementary I boarded the school bus as usual taking my rightful place as a fourth grader in a mid-rear seat. Following the example of my older and highly esteemed fifth grade elders, I was not seated completely on my butt. Instead I sat propped with one foot standing on the floor and one knee resting on the bench seat with my back against the window. This stance not only gives forth and fifth graders a feeling of dominance it also gives the child a better view of the whole bus.
Suddenly and with complete disregard for my position within the elementary school social hierarchy the bus driver specifically asked me to sit down. Naturally I respect authority and rules and would have been happy to oblige the bus driver's request, I just had one simple request of my own. Seeing as SEVERAL other children including my elder brother and his friend, were also standing up, I found it only just that they also be asked to sit down.
Apparently my logical and innocent request was misinterpreted by the bus driver as some type of challenge to her authority. Thus she repeatedly and specifically asked only me to sit down. I don't recall if I actually sat down but I must have continued to argue my point. Finally as the bus pulled up to my stop I hurried off the pull and muttered not so quietly under my breath, "you're stupid"! The bus driver immediately responded with, "what did you say?" Not about to let the bus driver get the best of me I clearly repeated, "I said you're stupid"! To which the bus driver challenged, "why don't you say that to my face"! Without a moment's hesitation I marched back up the giant steps of the bus and said, "you're stupid"! and then immediately fled the scene as fast as my little feet would carry me without turning around!
In retrospect, I fully admit, regardless of what the other students were doing, yes, I should have sat down when asked. But might I remind you, I was only in forth grade at the time. However let us also consider the maturity level of the bus driver as she challenged a fourth grader to, "say that to her face"! Yeah, I'm definitely less embarrassed to be the defiant fourth grader in this situation!
Stay tuned for:
Case Study #2: Choir Teacher Admits Defeat to Justice Seeking Eighth Grader