This is a case of emotions overruling good judgement. I will probably come off as weak, stupid or crazy. If so, mea culpa! But these posts about school violence are leading to a tragic conclusion; and if you are to understand the horror and shame I experienced as a teacher, I have to come clean about my shortcomings as well as my triumphs (check out A Ticklish Approach to Self-Defense).
You see, I feel the hurts of others very strongly. I can’t stand to see others suffer. Empathy is defined in Wikipedia as “the capacity to share or recognize emotions experienced by another sentient being.” My empathy goes way beyond that. Back when I was a kid in the hospital, even though my face was cut, bleeding and stitched back together (see How I Got Gangsta’ Street Credit Without Getting Shot), I was always way more upset at witnessing the pain of the other kids than at my own suffering (‘the eye sees not itself but by reflection, by some other thing’ Julius Caesar Act I,ii). This wasn’t and isn’t nobility. It’s a curse. Occasionally it’s a help, but mostly it’s a curse. I cry in movies. I cry during the T.V. news. Once during an American Literature class I was teaching, I read an example poem out loud and started to cry in front of my students. “Hey Mr. D. are you crying?!?” Yeah! So what?
You needed to know that to understand what I did in high school and what I did back in 8th grade.
Read moreThe Snake and the Fist in the Face