Skip to main content

Lockdown

The first time I ever experienced a lockdown (that I can recall), I was sitting in my sixth grade math class.
It was approaching time to switch back to homeroom when the announcement came over the loudspeakers.
There are a group of protesters at the district office, they said. We’re asking everyone to stay in their classrooms and teachers to lock their doors until we know what is going on.
It mattered to our safety because the school district office was right next to our school, and a chain link fence was all that stood between these protesters and us.
If things got ugly.

By steve lyon from los angeles, ca, usa (Strike threat.)
[CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)
or CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)],
via Wikimedia Commons


The person on the loudspeaker didn’t say it, but it was going through everyone’s heads.
Our brains tend to go the worst case scenario in those types of situations, don’t they?

So while my math teacher tried to keep everything as normal as possible after she locked the door, my brain zoomed through all of the horrible things that could happen.
We worked on our math homework, we read, we talked.
An hour later, the all-clear came – we were safe to go back to our normal schedule.

I remember the sense of freedom as I gathered my books and my bag and went next door to my homeroom.
Captive set free, or however you want to romanticize it.
No longer a hostage.

The protesters were still at the district office at lunch hour, and when school was dismissed.
Lining up to get on the bus was unnerving, with the sea of faces on the other side of the fence seeming to stare at us.
I couldn’t look at them, so I stared straight ahead at the bus as it pulled up and the doors opened.

I didn’t know until I arrived home that afternoon what the protest was about, but I did find out.
Maybe it was a slow news day and the television stations were scrambling for something, or maybe it will always be a big deal that a protest happens on a school district’s grounds.
In our case, it was parents and students at the other school in our district protesting what they saw as the unfair dismissal of a school administrator they dearly loved.
Peacefully protesting, though – it didn’t get violent. Just loud.

What I’ve appreciated about that in the past was the way my teacher handled what was going on.
What I appreciate now, with hindsight, is how the protesters handled themselves that day.
It’s easy to forget, especially with the violence and ill-will erupting at protests in the past few years, that there are ways to object to actions people consider harmful or unjust that get the point across without drawing blood (physically and metaphorically speaking).

So I say my thanks to the protesters for keeping things as civil and peaceful as possible that day.
You taught me an invaluable lesson all those years ago.
I hope others will be able to say the same of me in the future.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Metaphors: Candles

I've recently fallen in love with candles. Since coming home from the World Race , I've bought at least one a month. My favorite candles are the ones that come in glass jars - because when they burn out, I can clean the remaining wax out and put the jars to other uses. Right now,  that means they get cleaned out and packed away in anticipation of my move to Flagstaff. But as I was lighting one tonight (vanilla spice... Thanksgiving smells? Yes, please!), I saw a metaphor for writing flickering away in the flame licking at the wick and melting the wax. I suppose it could be a metaphor for life in general, but since the theme of this blog is writing... Well, you do the math.

[Five Minute Friday] Purpose

Fiber bars, strewn along the side of the road. There had to be at least a dozen of them, still in their wrappers and completely unopened. No box in sight. Really? That's about the reaction my younger sister and I had when we stumbled on them on our early morning run. Really? along with disgusted sighs about the wastefulness of it. These were the expensive ones, not a generic store brand that kind of tastes and kind of looks the same sometimes. So, when we weren't keeping an eye out for their box, we speculated about what had happened. And wondered how many more we were going to see before the end of our run. "Maybe they took one bite and thought they were gross," my sister said. "So they threw them out because they didn't want them anymore." I let out one of those disgusted sighs and nodded along with her theory. "Yeah, or they got in a huge fight, and threw them out in a fit of rage." "That's a possibility." And

Book Review: Always Gray in Winter

Happy Thursday! Welcome to the first book review of Spring 2019. Today, I'm looking at science fiction and furry writer Mark J. Engels' debut novel, Always Gray in Winter - which is also the first in a series. Disclaimer/Permission Tag: The book for this month's review was provided to me for free by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review of their work. Also, the cover art is being used with permission of the author. Always Gray in Winter Mark J. Engels, 2017, Thurston Howl Publications Description:  A distant daughter. A peculiar device. A family lineage full of secrets. When werecat Pawlina Katczynski finally resurfaces, her location previously unknown to anyone close to her, the reunion is short of welcomed. Instead, she finds herself thrust tooth and nail—tooth and claw—into a feud between opposing werecat clans as her family and their enemies reignite a battle that has raged for years. Always Gray in Winter invites the reader to j