Engaging Each Day with Action Words

Protect. — No GLEE Spoiler Alert Here.

on April 12, 2013

I didn’t watch GLEE last night.  I don’t even really know what happens on the latest episode. To be honest, I haven’t really watched the show in the last couple of years. It seems lately that my T.V. is usually tuned to Nickelodeon or Disney channels. I don’t watch a lot of  T.V. except, for “The Americans” right now.  And I watch a lot of that through my fingers.

The only thing I know of this episode is what I just read from Facebook reactions last night. Posts about everyone crying their eyes out. And you know I’m a fan of a good cry, so that made me google to see what was happening.  And then I learned the premise of last night’s episode.  That’s all I need to know. I don’t know the outcome and I don’t need to know.

What I do know is that I don’t need those images in my head. I know that the show’s writers and producers are trying to make a point. I can understand their viewpoint and I can appreciate their efforts.

It has all just been too close for me.  It is something that is close to me everyday. I don’t need to watch it on T.V.

I’m not from Newtown.

But I was an Elementary Teacher for 10 years and I still work for the school system. I’ve had my fair share of nightmares of hiding my students — under desks, in closets, behind bookcases.

I’m a Mom. I put my 7-year old on a school bus each morning and send her to some of my favorite teacher friends each morning. I know my friends have had the same nightmares and my daughter’s face is a part of those.

Two days ago, I attended a school safety conference. The speaker was knowledgeable and I admire him greatly. As a part of his presentation, he spent over an hour trying to convince us that, statistically, school shootings are extremely unlikely. By the numbers, the likelihood is so incredibly small.

And I agree. That tragic day last December was not a school shooting. It was a shooting that happened in s school. I will be honest, I still cannot bring myself to fully imagine or try to comprehend the events at Sandy Hook Elementary School. I know I’m not ready.

You see, I’m not from Newtown.  But I am from Virginia Tech. I’m an alum and still live in the area.  I teach a course on campus.

So I didn’t watch GLEE tonight.  Yesterday, I was in a meeting discussing school lockdowns. Serious, but not scary is the theme.  And just like fire drills, our students and staff now need to know what to do. We know what “Duck and Cover” used to mean in schools. Now our students, my beautiful firecracker of a 7-year old daughter, will know  what it feels like to hide in a bathroom or sit silently in a locked darkened room. Just in case. Her second grade teacher is one of my best friends in all the world and I trust her to take care of her and not scare her.

It still makes me sad to know I can’t fully protect Y from knowing what this feels like.

The professor was right. I know what the statistics are. Sandy Hook probably knew those numbers, too.

“What if?” is a question we have to now ask.  Because it did. It did happen here.

You know me….I won’t get into the debates about the reasons or the causes.

It IS about the guns.

It IS about access and availability of mental health services.

It IS about awareness.

It IS about alerting and telling.

It IS about bullying and kindness.

Tomorrow, Fix-It Felix and I will run a 5K side by side. We will meet up with 6,998 other people in our maroon and orange and we will gather on the drillfield. We will be just across the building and the memorial to 32 people taken too soon six years ago. We will wait for the orange and maroon and white balloons to be lifted into the air. Then we will run.

balloons  vt finish
I will run with my best friend/partner/hubby while my kiddos are with their Nana and cheer us on.
I will run for the 32. I will run for the 26. I will run for all that are gone too soon.
I will run for my daughter. I will run for my son.
And I will remember and know that it will always be with me.
But I won’t watch this episode of GLEE. I have to protect myself from more of that.

10 responses to “Protect. — No GLEE Spoiler Alert Here.

  1. Amy says:

    This post gave me goosebumps. I am right there with you and agree that it is about all those things.

    Beautifully said. Thank you.

  2. Remember. Your words bring to mind what it was like to teach in Montgomery County that day! I remember all too well going under lockdown, wondering which school had a shooter. I remember comforting kids whose parents and siblings were on campus. Thank you for helping me remember.

  3. Donna says:

    It was one of those experiences that will always be locked in our minds…just below the surface..always a part of us…thank you for running…and your powerful words..

  4. Jan Francis says:

    We will always remember.

  5. Stephanie Marshall says:

    I don’t need to watch to Glee to cry, you did it right there. I fear the same thing everyday, while I’m not a teacher, I am a parent who has to allow 3 of my babies to go to public schools. I am so happy and overwhelmed to hear that teachers aren’t just scared this could happen to them but happen to the children in their class to. I wish you all the luck with your 5K tomorrow and on Tuesday, I will Remember too.

  6. Kathleen says:

    Thank you.

  7. Lead Our Lives says:

    Run. is a verb.
    Run – with love, for that is all there is.
    Run – with intention, to stop violence.
    Run – to honor, those whose sacrifice is a constant reminder that we must remove fear from our lives, our vocabulary and our behavior.
    Run – with support, from all of us who believe in you, your heart, and your intention to be the best YOU, ever.

    ❤ 😉

  8. […] suppose the superheroes who live in my house were picking up on my frustrations with the world over the past couple of days.  So, they assembled … and met me in the shower […]

  9. […] And there are so many stories in between, that now our school system and local law enforcement are on first name basis, not out of an emergency relationship, but just by being proactive. […]

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