I'm mean to my kids. I don't try to by but they just frustrate me to no end. Every day, as a teacher, I have be nice ALL
THE TIME. I solve problems, I act pleasant in the face of flagrant disrespect and when I get home, I'll be damned if my
kids are going to act that way! My tolerance is lowering at school as well. Monday, as I was walking through the gym I heard
a Junior High student make a funny comment about the way I walked. In fairness to the little maggot this was something I
was accustomed to as my "racewalk" style had been mimicked for years. However, I snapped! Walking over to him and
whisper yelling, "What did you say?" I gave myself chills. It had a certain Dirty Harry quality to it and I was
He responded poorly with a, " Don't yell in my face man!" Which of course I was doing.
In all my maturity I repeated, LOUDER this time. "WHAT DID YOU SAY, BOY?" I thought the "boy" part
was a nice touch. His eyes darted from side to side looking at his classmates, desperate to save some pride.
"Man, you are so lucky there are rules against fighting in school," he threatened me. Ma Bell took control
of my body as I reached out and touched someone. My hand was a full flexed Kung-Fu vice on the nape of the young boy's neck.
I pulled him real close. His eyes were large like the crowning head of a newborn. All cockiness had evaporated. My mouth
was inches from his ears. My morning coffee breath ricocheting off his cheek skin and back up my nose. It stunk. At that
moment I was glad.
In a exaggerated breathy Darth Vaderisk voice I responded with, "Those rules are not in place to protect me from
you, little man, but to protect you from ME." With that I released the Bavarian Death Grip and race walked to my original
destination, a crapper with a door on the stall.
I was nice to my kids that night. I even played a board game. For me this was huge as usually board games fell right
behind puzzles and driving thermometers under my skin and then snapping the glass on my short list of things to do on my free
But I was on to something.