As I may have mentioned a few times, I have issues with wealthy people. One of my best friends, who grew up rich, once pointed out to me that I was a huge bigot, to which I replied that obviously I couldn’t be a bigot, as some of my best friends – well, okay, just her, but still – were rich people. She didn’t find that terribly amusing, and after I added that, yeah, rich people are dangerous, but she was cool because she didn’t act like your stereotypical rich person, she didn’t talk to me for about a week.
In my personal opinion I did an admirable job not acting like a huge asshat to the sleek, eloquent, toothy population of TFA, but I have to admit I lost my temper on two memorable occasions. Reflecting – and good heavens, if TFA taught me anything, it’s that REFLECTION IS CRUCIAL – the first occasion was entirely legit, but the second I was being a jerk. Well, more of a jerk than usual.
The first: there were several of my fellow CMs at Institute who would make casual reference to the “sacrifice” (or a variation on that concept) we were making by becoming TFAers, verbally patting us on the back. Now, if there’s anything TFA taught me besides the value of reflection, it’s to smile (with my lips hiding my teeth, of course) and nod, but after about the third time someone started in on that, I shouted something about how we were all about to make more money our first year teaching than my mother did her best year, plus we’d have benefits and decent job security, and maybe a lot of you are making a sacrifice, but for the love of God in the future keep that to yourself or someone less kind than I in your new neighborhood will almost certainly punch you in the head.
I don’t feel bad about that one, but I do feel a bit sorry for savaging the well-intentioned girl who gave a little speech about how equal educational opportunity would allow kids to escape from their rough environments and have better lives elsewhere, opening doors to wonderful new experiences. I mean, she wasn’t really wrong or anything, and she was very nice and not even much of a savior-type. She just happened to talk about this after I’d gotten some bad news from home. I went off on some tirade about how if our society really gave a shit about people they wouldn’t force them to leave their homes and loved ones and to assimilate to ‘mainstream’ US culture, just so they could live lives where they didn’t have to constantly worry about being shot or raped or beaten or evicted or arrested. Basically, I dumped my own guilt all over her.
WordPress’s only suggested tagaroo tag for this post? “United States.” VERY TRENCHANT, WORDPRESS.