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Showing posts from March, 2021

Finally, A Reason to Rejoice

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I don’t have many memories from my days at  Deans Mill School , but a big one began like any other day and ended with blood, sweat and so many tears.    A team converted the auditorium into a makeshift clinic to mass inoculate students from diseases already in decline: polio and smallpox. My mother wasn’t so sure about the polio vaccine, given how badly the Eisenhower Administration botched it more than a decade earlier. Prone to provide as little government oversight as possible, a shipment destined for children’s arms was  sent with the virus, not the vaccine . Some recipients died, and others were damaged for life. By the time I was eligible, the Sabin oral vaccine was preferred over the Salk injectable. Small pox eradication, however, still required a bifurcated needle that left quite a scar.   Classes lined up along the main hallway to wait their turn. As we moved closer to the double doors, schoolmates would come out. Some were wailing; some whimpering; all clasping their injured

A Year of Dawnlight Runs and Walks

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This time a year ago I was in another city and without my phone when the school principal called to let us know the campus lost electric power. I was still out, and therefore unaware of the emergency, when the principal called again to ask parents to come get their children. By the time I arrived at a darkened main office lobby, most students had been united with their parents or guardians. My sixth-grader was both relieved and highly annoyed to see me.   Hours earlier, when the electricity shut down, a student with a history of violence took advantage of the initial chaos to chase our then-11-year-old around campus, intending to harm him. Someone in some official capacity intervened before an actual assault.   That was the last time the school held in-class instruction. It currently appears students will return in some capacity next month. And that makes me sad. Not for them—goodness, our children need each other’s company—but for me. I’m not ready to give up the dawnlight runs and wa