Wednesday, April 18, 2007

I'm Just Wondering...

Something on my mind since Monday is the fact that so many of those kids at Virginia Tech 'played dead'. I don't fault them at all. I'm sure I would have done the same. But I'm surprised that a couple of them didn't charge the gunman. I think an older generation would have. Not me. I'm not pointing any fingers. I am not leader material. I try to blend into the background. Call me possum. But I can't believe nobody but the OLD teacher guy tried to stop it. The people who shoved the table in front of the door showed good problem-solving skills. But still, they were bent on self-preservation.

Don't get me wrong. I am not blaming them at all. We have made them this way. We spoil our kids. We do anything we can to make them happy. We fight their battles for them. We want to make it all better when they're hurt. We want to make sure things are fair. But have we not created a generation who thinks they are entitled? They have rights, by cracky! Like the right to roam free even though they're crazy.

I also wonder what might have happened if, say, they gunman walked into the gym instead of the engineering building. Surely some students there would have rushed him. My son is the type who would end up in the engineering building. He is not a fighter. He is a thinker. He would sooner curl up in a little ball and sqeal like a schoolgirl than fight back. Like when The Veteran sat on his head and farted. But the athletes are physical people. DUH! Surely one or more of them would think, "I can take this punk."

I was seriously concerned about the ME generation. Until one of my classes strolled in yesterday. By 'strolled', I mean surged into the room like a tsunami, like pieces of popcorn bouncing around the microwave, like paying contestants entering a Wrestle Royale. These are my farters, my Band-Aid freeloaders, my buttsy-wuttsy players. It's the class that has no girls left, having driven two of them to move to different districts. The class who told me, when I asked what they'd done in Math class for the last two years, since Math seems like Greek to them, answered in unison, "Made the teacher cry."

After the tardy bell rang, and the dust settled, and all the bleeding was staunched, a kid who's logged as many ISS hours as classroom hours asked, "Umm...if a guy came in here with a gun...would you get in trouble for hitting him?" The ring leader of this Band of Botherers asked, "Did you see the news? How come nobody tackled that guy?" And a cheer went up, echoing from the corners of the room. A cheer of "YEAH! I would've taken him OUT!" Now, we don't really know how anybody would react in this situation unless it happens. But I truly believe over half of that class of scrawny freshman boys would have gone after the gunman. If for no other reason than they can't lie still long enough to play dead. Or keep from talking for 15 seconds. I think these little rednecks would have put up a good fight.

Thing is, they are not the type who will go to college. They will be the racecar drivers, the mechanics, the carpenters, the welders, the soldiers. They will fight for what they believe in. Even though I may not agree with the battles they choose...that's a good thing. They are the type of people who built this country.

But they still have to bow to the rules in Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's class.

And in keeping with the overall educational tone of this blog...who can spot the palindrome in this post? Anybody.........anybody?


Hey! Why don't some of you enter Redneck Diva's writing contest this week at Entries are due by Saturday. I chose the words this week. So you can bet there's a faux pas in there somewhere. C'mon, people! We need more entrants. Be a sport. Nobody will laugh at you. And even if they won't know it, because, DUH, you won't even know when they are reading it. Even on the sliiiight chance that somebody leaves a comment saying, "Ha, ha", you can leave one right back saying, "DO NOT MOCK ME!" See? I've got it all figured out.


Cazzie!!! said...

Chills go up my spine, the time you wrote that your son is the brains one, the one who would sooner lay ont he floor and cry than fight, It scares the shit out of me that I dunno if he would defend now I am gunna teach him this survival manouvre...just incase he don't feel like playing dead.
When I was in cadets, amnd whenever I have watched flicks about wartime, I always said I woul play dead in such an event.
Thing is, would I? Would I fight? Would I be in shock as I think these students must have been?
Tragic, saddening, making me appreciate my life so much more.

Chickadee said...

There was a safety specialist on the Today show this morning and he talked about this very issue. He said the best thing would have been to create chaos in the room. Move around a's more difficult to hit a moving target, and try what you could to put the gunman on the defensive.

What does that mean? Throwing books and stuff at him? Throwing a desk? That was what crossed my mind...throw stuff at the guy who has the gun. What do you have to lose?

But I'm not sure I would have had the courage to do anything but play possum. I'm sure the fear in that kind of situation is OVERWHELMING and like you said, you don't know what you're going to do if something like that happens. And I hope for our sakes we (and everyone else)never have to be placed in something so terrible as to worry about our saftey.

I'm still surprised that people can be capable of such heartless devastation. All of those promising young lives gone in an instant. It's just not fair.

DeadpanAnn said...

Like I said, rednecks aren't always useless. After 9/11, I wondered if I'd have had the courage to rush the terrorists like they did on that plane that crashed in PA. I think I would. (We're going down either way, right??)

You are right that we have made these kids so helpless that they'll lie down and wait to be shot. What happened to adrenaline? Has it been lost in recent evolution?

And now that you've raised the question about whether things would've been been any different in the gym, it does make me think of the fact that the Columbine shooting took place primarily in the library. So okay, yeah, I suppose things might've ended differently had the gun-wielding bastards wandered into the locker room with the rugby team.

Hmm. I have so many things I want to say on this topic. I'll save some for later.

Stewed Hamm said...

If you're going to slip a palindrome into a post, surely you can put a little effort into it. "Oh no, Don Ho" would have been particularly clever given recent events. "Won't lovers revolt now?" could have also been sneakitized (I refuse to enter the sneaked/snuck debate, hence: sneakitized) in there.

But racecar? That's just phoning it in.

MrsCoach2U said...

Mr.Coach said the same thing, why didn't someone take him out, chances were...they were going to die anyway at least wind him or something. Of course, it all happened so fast there's no way to know what we would have done.

Melina said... can't get one past the English teacher!!!

My kids and I had a very similar discussion today. It was pretty cute when one of my students said, "I know that you would do everything you could to protect us, but I would do everything I could to defend you."

That kid is getting an A for the year :)

Peg (wishes Paradise had a "spring" season) said...

I pray each and every day that my daughter is the one that charges the fool. I hop eto God I have instilled enough kick ass girl power talk into her head that she won't let anyone take her laying down.

oh yeah i played the contest this week

Hillbilly Mom said...

Teach him well. It's good to be prepared.

That's what I thought, too. Throw a desk. It could knock the guns loose, or at least mess up his aim for a second so someone could rush at him.

Miss Ann,
I think you would take charge. Me, I'm good in theory, but not in practice. Might as well go out fighting. The odds are better. That might get me going--play the odds. It's a gamble.

You're right. These psychos want to look so big and bad...but they go after people weaker than themselves.

I thought of that man and his plan for the canal, but didn't want to belabor the palindrome process.

See there! The crazies KNOW not to mess with a coach! They'd be turned into Crazy Jerky in no time.

OK, I was just taunting my readers to see if anyone would take the bait. Kind of like I taunt you and DPA with the prepositions I end sentences with. Thanks to both of you for not whipping out the red pen of shame and grading me like a freshman personal-experience essay.

Rock on with the girl power, Sistah!

Glad you are playing. We need some fresh meat...errr...fresh BLOOD in our contest!

Redneck. Diva. said...

I sat in a sold-out auditorium last night and thought about what I'd do if someone walked in with a gun. I was trying to decide where to stash my kids....under the chairs? Sneak 'em out to the bathroom? We're changed, people.

Hillbilly Mom said...

As spokesman for the people...I concur.