I have to admit to being a little blue yesterday. Not “literally blue” because most days I look nothing like my Paffooney portrait here to the left. I said a little blue, as in slightly depressed. Not weeping and roaring with sorrow depressed… more like needing to softly sing to myself sort of depressed. I wasn’t depressed for valid reasons. I was mistaken about the writing contest results. The dental insurance also covers more of what we are going to owe for the privilege of having teeth than I was at first led to believe. So my deep blue hole yesterday was imaginary and all see-through-y if I had been sane enough to look properly. But, Mickeys are like that sometimes, getting all bothered about things they really shouldn’t get bothered about.
So, today, determined to still be sad for a reason, I began to list other things that I could conveniently be sad about. There was school news about an 8-year-old boy in Kentucky being handcuffed by an officer in school and crying because it was hurting him. That social media outrage led me to an article about school discipline. “Schools as Punishing Factories” Reading that made me bitterly depressed. I have witnessed the truth of that article in Texas where teachers can get in trouble so easily when they try to advocate for kids, especially black and Hispanic kids. I have seen talking back to the teacher, throwing spitwads, and disrupting lessons become reasons for students to be escorted away in handcuffs. I like to pretend it is because principals and policemen and community businessmen can be rather stupid sometimes, and not because there is a concerted effort to use the school experience as training for black and Hispanic, as well as poor kids to prepare for the second part of their life, the life they will lead inside prisons for profit. As a teacher who loved kids, even the bad ones, I am truly depressed about this trend in America. I have white friends in both Texas and Iowa that want to tell me that I am the one who is wrong, not the system. Their conservatives beliefs are stronger than any eye-witness evidence I can give them. So… even darker blues and more depression. My contest novel is about a teacher like me trying to fight the way things are and teach the way teaching should be done. I must comfort myself by telling myself that my book will change peoples’ minds and make the problem get solved. If I just lie to myself hard enough, like those friends who tell me “throwing money at the problem of failing schools will not fix the problem” lie to themselves… a lie I know is false but want desperately to believe anyway, then I can make it true.
So, how do I make Mickey happy? Well, luckily Mickey is goofy. I went to Walmart and finally found the doll on sale that I had been searching for. I bought Operetta. the daughter of the Phantom of the Opera to add to my Monster High collection for only $9.95. And Mickey is seriously addicted to doll collecting. It makes him happy and turns him away from despair when other things probably can’t. I am not forgetting about the education fight. Oh, no! Mickey’s dander is up on that. And he will bombard you with his writer wrath about that another day. But forgive me. I need to be happy a little right now. And Mickey needs to play with dolls.