donderdag 17 november 2016

What did you expect?

So the wake up call of Stallie on Wednesday morning was P with the words:’Het is Trump.’  My response was :’I know… I have always known…’  Since Brexit I know in what moral disorientated  world we seem to be living and that nothing is what it seems at frist sight.  I then got up, brushed my teeth and got dressed.  I did look into mirror and kept telling myself very bravely:’You can do this, Stallie! It is going to be okay!  The children are going to help you through the day and in the next four to eight years!’ (nope, I don’t think that Trump will be gone after 4 years!  The Trumps are putting a dynasty in place!  Not that there are any facts to be found on the internet or in a high quality  (what ever this means!) newspaper to support my prediction!   My son his priceless comment, while I was throwing our work and school bags into the car, was very promising:’Damn, I would have preferred George Clooney.’  P did respond to this rather playful comment to that by saying:’Oh, that might have worked…’   Yes, let us try to convince George Clooney to run for office in the 2020 race.  That one race that now for once seems year lights away.

By the time my colleague U arrived ,I was still smiling and telling myself over and over that everything was going to be okay…in the end.  That today the earth was still turning and that I still had a job and that my family is in good health,….  I then did sip of my George Clooney coffee, took deep breaths and tried to focus on what is my daily responsibility:’Educating and inspiring young minds.’  I charged up my batteries with many positive thoughts and then dove into my daily routine. 

At the beginning it seemed to go smoothly.  The day passed by like nothing much has changed and most children smiled and laughed on the play ground.  I did secretly think:’I am going to get through this day differently than when Brexit polls were spit out to the world!  Seems I have found an emotional harnas that will protect me in the long long long 4 years to come and beyond.  Well done, Stallie!’ I then took a deep breath and peeled a juicy tangerine in a rather calm mind setting. 

Well, you all know what sometimes happens if you think you have covered all bases.  Yip, and that is what exactly happened on that day.  I am not going to describe what exactly went on in my class room but the result of what happened was a teacher who felt like a fail.  That is the only word I can come up with to describe what I did feel by the time that I got home. Talking to my lovely and rather down to earth mother did not help either.  ‘Have you seen Hillary her speech?  I have to say a good one and I guess she is having a hard time…’  It all did not help and for a while not much will help. 

We have now tons of people that are telling us that they had seen it coming.  Deep down I also did (read my previous post) and I do think that over the last 20 years many people feel like they are left out.  No, not all people who have voted Trump into the White House are racists and will grab a woman by the pussy,  believe that aliens have constructed the pyramids and that women can not have control over their own bodies and mind, that climate change is a hoax, that Obamacare sucks (sorry not apologizing for the language I am using), want to get out of NATO, have a gun in the house and will shoot randomly people with it,….. You are getting my point here, I do hope if not that then you do have got a real issue. 

As a teacher you are constantly confronted with fear and anger.  Yeah, it is not all peace and honey in the classroom and children do reflect about world issues.   Children are not the whole time happy bunnies and not constantly jump around high on a sugar rush.  We all know that you can not keep reality away from them. All young minds have aspirations, hopes and dreams.  Over the last 20 years I have seen many dreams come true and some of the most doubtful ‘cases’ have amazed me in very surprising ways.  Benefit of the doubt has been my closest ally in my classroom and on the play ground and beyond. 

That I on Wednesday could not sugar coat or deny what they said was my real wake up call.  Fact checking was not even necessary.  In a way that was very scary and made me fill up with horror.  It is that creepy feeling that now lingers around in the back of my mind.    It is a sensation that I hate to let come up to surface due to the fact it will paralyze me.  Why?  

I am now almost 20 years in the teaching profession and many students have passed by.  It are those  students who have given me hope and nope no fake hope.  Young minds were able to open up for perspective and debate.  In my classroom deep going debates have been taking place.  Very  fierce debates and yes, children will run into your classroom being totally pumped up or wondering why things can not go their way if they work hard, do what is expected of them, why nobody asks that one question they wish to answer openly and hope that they won’t be judged for that one specific opinion. 

Many time I wish that others would be able to hear what is going on in my classroom.  That I am the one to witness and moderate those extra ordinary moments is a privilege but also make me aware of the responsibility I have to carry around on my shoulders.  That I on Wednesday was not able to contradict anything my students said about what was happening in the US was in a way perhaps even positive.  Still it did in way cut very deep into my heart!  It is what it is…and we are going to have to deal with it. 

The last few days I have been reading as much as I can and I have to say there is for the moment no silver lining to be noticed.  No doubt that many Americans did wake up feeling like the finally got the news out that they are not happy citizens anymore and that they want change…. big change and that they do not wish to be called ‘stupid, ignorant, racist, biased, uneducated, extremist,…’ if nobody seems to have cared for them. 

Now I am not going to defend what Donald Trump has all been saying openly and is saying and is predicted to say and what he has been Tweeting.  His political transition team is being put in place and he is ‘hiring’ the people he wishes to be close when calling the shots.  Some of these individuals are not your ordinary politician from just around the block.  The names that are now going to make the news and policies are people coming along with a different kind of luggage and back ground story.  After all Trump promised he would clean out DC… well that is what he seems to be doing.  Not that it all seems to go smoothly according to some sources but Donald then grabs for his phone and tweets out to the world that all is going well and that he is the only one who knows the finalists.   Does it remind you of an episode of ‘The Apprentice’?  What did you expect?  He is very good at being a builder and businessman.  So nothing new under the sun. 

The thing is that we are facing now is rather scary and gloomy.  Or at least for those who are not at the end of the Trump perspective. People are now waving their hands and pointing fingers at each other.  Behind the scenes many are making phone calls to Trump Tower and want to take ride in the golden elevator of the very president elect.  Many powerful people are already taking back their words they once said about the man who was given many names and mocked.  It seems that many Americans seem to vote rather the underdog into the most powerful office in the world.

Most importantly is that Hillary won the popular vote but that does now not count….in a way it does count but not to get into the White House.  Democracy comes in different shades and momentarily it is rather a dark one.   But then there are people on the Trump his team who have already made some very deep going comments about democracy and the people that make up that democracy.   I am trying to get my head around how ‘pragmatic’ the future POTUS is and you know what?  I fail to do so…I even dove into the dictionary to find the meaning of that rather serious sounding word. There are many online dictionaries but the one that gave me the simplest explanation was Merriam-Webster:’dealing with the problems that exist in a specific situation in a reasonable and logical way instead of depending on ideas and theories.’ 

Okay, now that does not sound like a person who is going to unleash the third world war and I do like logic thinkers.  Still, at the present it does just not matches up with what I have seen and read (I read a lot, a great deal and I even have done my fact&source checking and not just randomly clicked on head lines) about Trump (but then I do not live in the Trump-world) is ‘reasonable’.  Now me being the European (my continent seems also not that reasonable anymore when it comes down to coming up with good ideas that work for each of us. Many even want jump of the wagon now that they found out that it is so much more hard work and that changing a system from within is not easy peasy)  am fully aware that it not that fair to just point the finger at all these people who voted or not voted. Also remember that other specific exit story we are still trying to digest and it causes heartburn in the political system that seems now to be rather worn out.  Still, using the word ‘pragmatic’ in the same sentence as the word Trump causes in my case a mental meltdown. But then I might be on the ‘wrong’ side of the spectrum.

If you vote for change people then do have expectations and believe me that I do not think that the outcome of these changes always live up to our dreams and wishes. I have voted too many times in a surrealistic country of which the capital has been described by Trump as being a ‘hellhole’.  (Very ‘pragmatic’ use of vocabulary! to be in total denial when it comes down to this.  There are people on the Trump transition team who have very outspoken opinion about so many ethical issues.  Issues that matter a great deal and have already created global turmoil.  The signals that Trump&co are sending out are not very promising when it comes down to environment, immigration, women in general and in the work force, health.  The Dream Team that Trump is putting together is a mental tour de force. 

Yes, internal when reading many headlines and articles about American and global politics I do scream out frequently:’THAT IS NOT FAIR!’’ and then have to face a total meltdown. My parents have taught me that this is part of growing up and that the world is not a ‘fair’ spot.  Tough lesson and being a teacher I am almost daily confronted with young minds who figure it out by themselves. My parents seem to have been trying to get across many times that when something was not going our way.  'What did you expect?', is more then a tag-line in my family.  It is very deep going question and I always have been given the opportunity to then admit my faults and learn from my mistakes and prejudice.  Pick up the pieces and move on.  Life is out there and it won't offer you many chances to get it right.  Better hurry up then!   Seems that many now think that Trump will pick up the pieces that others have left behind and bring better times. 

There other words that I link up with Trump but at this stage I don’t think it is worth to give them any air time.  For now I am going to have to let go and sometimes even take a break from social media when I feel like there is no light at the end of the very long dark tunnel…. There is a certain soft drink awaiting me in a chilled status and it kind of screams out ‘what did you expect?’.  After all when life gives you lemons, make lemonade!   Still I might need some time to try out some recipes before I found the one that will enable to overcome the Trump era.  I promise that I will keep you posted and that I hope to share in the near future my successful recipe.  Please share yours with me if you come across. None of the above options is what I am after!  Cheers!  

PS: To make sure we do end this entry on a lighter note then we started out with.  Yesterday did P receive a phone call and did someone tell him.’I am American and I wish to tell you that Trump is a good man.’  P did respond by saying:’Hmm, I am not sure what you wish me to respond but how I can I be of any service to you.’  The response was rather mind boggling:’No, I just wanted to say that.’ The phone then went dead!   Guess this person wished to use her/his constitutional right and that is freedom of speech.  Such a precious one!

* I choose for Sting to go along with this one.  Sting was the one who this last week made the Bataclan stage at Paris coming back to life.  He is there with me when it is very tough... when there is not a lot of light but you just refuse to give up...

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