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Rampant Insanity vs. Purpose

English: The seconds pendulum, a pendulum with...

English: The seconds pendulum, a pendulum with a period of two seconds so each swing takes one second http://weelookang.blogspot.com/2010/06/physical-quantities-and-units.html (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Most readers here know that I write on occasion in reaction to things in the news. I troll news feeds looking for subject matter for all sorts of things, including poetry. This morning I took my inspiration from my Facebook home page.

A couple of my writer friends had posted links to two stories that left my reactions in a chaotic state of pendulum swing.

The first story reported about a group of 64 high school seniors who were suspended for riding bicycles to school on the same day. You did read that correctly. This Michigan student group merely rode to school on bikes, escorted by police, sanctioned and lauded by the mayor, and then punished for the act.

Can someone point out to me the sanity peeking out of this story? The one official who should have applauded the students’ behavior was the one having conniptions at the other end of it. The principal’s reason for her hysterical reaction? They could have gotten hurt, hit by a car or worse! This with a police escort and the mayor’s approval?

Now you can see the reason for my immediate response. Insanity holds the reins of the school.

Okay, so that’s a bit strong, I admit. The principal’s reaction, however, was far more out of connection with reality than mine. I have my own suspicions as to the real trigger for her reaction.

The point is that just the day before it was reported on Yahoo that a four-year-old girl was kept from inclusion in her class photo because she had her hair up in a bow. Her very neat and tidy hair kept her out of a photo.

Am I the only one who thinks perhaps those presently in charge of schools need a check-up? It seems to me that the irrational responses by school leadership in the past few years are spreading rapidly. But hey, retired teachers can have opinions, too.

When I got to the second story, I could do little but smile. It was about a photographer, Bob Carey, who for the last nine years has traveled around the country taking self-portraits wearing little other than a Pink Tutu. You may have seen the Today Show segment on this man and his inspiration, his wife, Linda.

Bob’s Pink Tutu Project is his response to Linda’s constant battle with cancer, which began nine years ago with breast cancer. He talked with Matt Lauer about getting his courage and inspiration to do the tutu photos by watching Linda journey through her disease. The two now work diligently to make the Project mean something for everyone, everywhere.

Linda talked about knowing that her battle will never go away, that ultimately she will lose. For anyone who’s gone through the battle, either in their own body or watched a loved one take up arms against the disease, this story could bring a smile that means more than a silly pink tutu.

I’ve been there more times than I care to think about with loved ones. As I watched the replay of this broadcast, I wondered how many other spouses do silly, smile-inducing acts to bring relief for a little while to their loved-one. Laughter is medicine. It does help during the battle. And Bob has made his stand for Linda and all the others who sit in chemo chairs each day or have radiation to burn out the invader.

When I look at these two stories, side by side, I wonder at the diversity of response to activities around us. An over-the-top reaction to something wholesome and normal for kids, and an over-the-top response for the good of others who can’t do it for themselves; which would you choose for yourself?

Drop in a comment. Tell me how you see these two events and their impact. I’d be interested to see what you have to say.

Until then, a bientot,


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  1. Veronica Roth
    May 24, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    You know, when Chloe was in first grade, her teacher set up a class project to depict a nativity scene. Me, an atheist with a child in PUBLIC school, very quietly and gently put a stop to that with a compromise to build a depiction of all sorts of the student’s religious beliefs at Christmastime, making the project one of understanding and acceptance rather than a focus. (I know, anecdote, oh well, I write magazine, (and some newspaper) articles) So I do feel I’m a little responsible for what you read.

    What absolutely bizarre people the world has! In my experience there’s nothing worse that a person who doesn’t have enough authority to please himself. They are the ones to push the boundaries and proclaim that what they think is right absolutely must be. Usually this is confined to border guards and passport checkers at the security gate, but it seems like it extends to school principals as well. The trick, I suppose, is sorting out the treasure from the drivel. Hooray for the husband in the pink tutu, yay for the students who biked to school and I hope there were plenty of parents who told the principal to shut up.

    PS. I have plenty of friends who let their sons wear pink tutus and other dress-up gear to school. More power to them!

    PPS. If my dad were a hairdresser I’d have bows every day. Wasn’t that fantastic?

    PPPS. There are signs all over town, this town of 3.5 million people, proclaiming it’s bike to work month and reminding people to get their tyres pumped up.

    • claudsy
      May 25, 2012 at 9:21 am

      Veronica, there will always be those who seek to extend their authority, whether it’s their right or not. Humans are like that sometimes. That’s why we get dictators, people at work who much take credit for another’s work/idea/initiative, etc.

      I’ve never understood why anyone would want power over others. The energy drain trying to keep that power is exhausting and few, if any, of them ever look happy or satisfied. What a waste of good life.

  2. May 24, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    Whenever I hear stories like that, I wonder what other stressers these people had in their moments at that time. Are they really incompetent (which I honestly don’t think they are), or are they just having a bad day?

    I tend to go with the latter. 🙂

    • claudsy
      May 25, 2012 at 9:29 am

      One can only imagine what drives another’s life. I have enough trouble driving my own without dealing with those of other people.

  3. May 24, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    btw, that pendulum thing is hypnotizing @_@

    • claudsy
      May 25, 2012 at 9:29 am

      Cool effect, though, isn’t it?

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