Writing is like being able to put life into a snow globe. It takes the things that are too big and scary and reduces them into a form that I can put away when I want and look at from a distance. It also takes all that’s good in life and captures it into something I can take out when I want and look at close up and keep forever. It makes the bad things into something I can hold…and the good things into something I can hold onto. Both help so much that I need that little souvenir of life.

Monday, June 14, 2010


 I was in another teacher’s class at a local high school during the weekly pledge of allegiance and national anthem. It is only said on Mondays at our district now. My attention was drawn to counting. Out of 20 students in the classroom, only four stood. Four. One fifth.

I looked around at their faces and postures. It was clear that it wasn’t their religions that kept them seated. Didn’t appear to be defiance, either. It was apathy. They just didn’t care.

A few short years ago, when our country was attacked, flags flew everywhere. These children wouldn’t remember, but still—what fickle people we are. Does this mean that our country is only great when we are victims?

I deeply admire the one-fifth who stood. It isn’t easy being the non-conformist, least of all when you’re a teenager.

My district has its own high school for children who couldn’t make it in other schools. Last time I was there on pledge of allegiance day, I looked around at the slouching. What gets me is that a lot of these kids join the military. I told them that. I asked them how they’d feel knowing that people back home weren’t even willing to stand for the flag they were risking their lives for. One boy said, “Hey, that’s right. I’m going into the army.” And he stood. Then another stood, and another. And they all stood. All of them.

I felt a surge of pride. Mistakes? Sure. But the beauty is that we’re here because of mistakes that happened before we got here; we’re set up to learn from them. Give us your huddled masses…and we will give them a chance. In all things human, apathy is one of the greatest enemies. And respect is the key to success.

Today I will stand up for our flag. Even if I stand alone, it’s nothing compared to what others have done for me so that I might have the privilege of living beneath it. Happy Flag Day.

The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.” ~Albert Einstein


  1. Sometimes, all they need is someone to send them a message with impact. I am glad there are tecahers like you! Hooray for Tammy!

  2. Thanks Tammy for mentioning Flag Day! I didn't forget it, but I didn't really do anything about it, either, which I guess is that part of apathy. In my defense, over the years I've had an American flag on my front porch. Most years I'd leave it up from Memorial Day until the end of summer. We've had problems at this house, with getting the flag holder to "hold"! It keeps getting blown off when we have some of our wild wind storms! I'm with Linda, too.....Good for you, Tammy! And thank goodness for teachers like you!!


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