Rosie and I met this past Monday morning at 7:45am by the 9th floor Newman elevator. We went to the computer lab to find out that the printers weren’t working. We decided our best bet was to try Knott Hall. After what seemed like an eternity of “warming up,” but in actuality was three minutes, we had Motor Pool confirmation and finger printing confirmations. We trekked down to the Sellinger shuttle stop only to read, “12 minutes to York.” We could walk there in 12 minutes, so we hiked along Ennis Parallel, made it just past McAuley and then the shuttle appeared. We were now 20 minutes later than our desired timing. We went into the Motor Pool office and were handed the standard binder and told that the car may not actually be in it’s numbered spot. We looked at each other and thought, “Awesome, we’re never getting there.” We went out to the parking lot and sure enough the car was not in it’s numbered spot. We scanned the rows of Motor Pool vechiles, until Rosie had a brilliant idea. “Listen,” she said as she held up the car keys, “I’m hitting the lock and unlock button!” We stopped talking and listened for the faint sounds of the lock moving in and out of the slot. “Hear it?!” one of us exclaimed. “Oh I see it!” I shouted and pointed to the black Honda. We got in and as we are about to pull out of the parking spot, Rosie remembered that we have to record the mileage. “It’s one of the only important instructions and I almost didn’t do it.” We both started to laugh as Rosie recorded the mileage and left the parking lot. We made it down St. Paul to E. Northern Ave when the Mapquest directions told us to “Make a U-turn.” Rosie looked at me after I read that to her and responded, “What?! A U-turn?!” As we approached the street we were supposed to make a U-turn we were met with a big No U-Turn sign. We then laughed hysterically and turned at the next street, luckily found a parking spot and made our way into the building.
A woman who “hadn’t had her coffee yet” and her assistant greeted us at finger printing area and gave us paperwork to fill out. We watched the clock as they joked with each other, took our I.D. photos, and finger printed us. We left just a few minutes before 10am. “Guess I’m not making it to class,” I said to Rosie as we got in the car and drove back towards campus. We approached the Motor Pool parking lot, decided that we had some extra time to kill, and decided to go to Dunkin Donuts for coffee. “See ya, Motor Pool, we’re getting breakfast!” Rosie said as we drove by the parking lot. Two lattés, two bagels with cream cheese, and 25 munchkins later, we safely returned the Honda to Motor Pool and were ready to return to campus. I attempted to stop a shuttle by running through the parking lot waving the box of munchkins only to have it drive away, but luckily another shuttle appeared. It was Ted. Ted immediately began to tell us about his difficulties with technology, his hundreds of friend requests of Facebook, and show us his pictures from Bull & Oyster. Rosie and I figured we would get on this shuttle and the best was, it wasn’t even going to Newman. By the time the shuttle rounded the corner by Boulder, Ted started to discuss marijuana and how cheap it was during the Vietnam War. I believe he said something along the lines of, “Ten to fifteen dollars a pound, when I was in ‘Nam,” as Rosie and I exited the shuttle at Sellinger barely able to walk from laughter.
Fast forward later in the day, K texted me and said we might not have a Motor Pool reservation for service learning that night. Rosie and I laughed at it would be the one day that we wouldn’t have Motor Pool for service. But luckily we figured it out and we attended Higher Achievement. I worked on conflict resolution with my fifth graders, where Trishawn sat down and told me, “Today ain’t a good day for nobody,” and Sujay fell asleep with her head on the desk, and Leonard played with his hat. I pulled out their packets and started to discuss peace quotes, peacemaking behavior, and whether or not they thought the world was full of more violence or peace. We then diverged into how to resolve a scenario if they were about to participate in a fight. Leonard and Trishawn both gave answers about being respectful and listening to the other person. Then the conversation went a little further and Leonard started to discuss how that in a fight it would probably result in punching and maybe breaking out a gun. I couldn’t tell if he was joking or if he really meant that those were ways conflicts were resolved. We went to reviewing the sheet of different ways to approach conflicts and positive ways to resolve problems.
This part of my day struck me when I read Madea’s “When It’s Okay to Have a Pistol,” section. She writes, “It’s a peacemaker. You see, the Bible says, peace be still. But peace is made of steel. If you have some steel, you can keep some peace,” (245-256). This is one of Perry’s examples of putting the ridiculous in and keeping it separate from the wisdom. I struggle here to see the wisdom just as I struggled with Leonard on whether he was giving me a hard time or if he really meant it. I just find this to be one of the major incongruence in the earlier sections about the importance of education. At Higher Achievement we work to promote the same message that Perry writes about in “Stay in School,” but also to combat the negative message that is in, “When It’s Okay to Have a Pistol.” Overall, “Monday ain’t good day for nobody.” It definitely is a challenge to separate the humor from the reality of growing up where carrying a gun might really be a way to solve a conflict.