It was a whirlwind day, and yet it was entirely typical of what happens at our high school—in most high schools, probably. I just thought it was worthwhile to put this day down as an official mark that this is what regularly happens. First thing in the morning my secretary called me on the radio to tell me that I had a visitor. This could be anybody: former students, current students, teachers in other buildings who are visiting and wanted to drop by to say hello. It was Janelle. Janelle graduated early this year, so I never get to see her much anymore. She brought her month-old daughter and wanted to show me that she had all ten fingers and all ten toes. Of course, I said, “You know I’m going to hold her, right? And smell her? And kiss her? And then I’ll steal her.” She laughed and looked at me sideways because I’m always joking with her. If I keep it light enough, I sometimes think I can force her to stay in school.
In recent weeks, our country has been treated to an ugly reflection of itself. The controversy over the Islamic community center in New York City has been followed by a spate of anti-Muslim acts. They include the stabbing of a Muslim cabbie, attempted arson at a mosque in Tennessee and teens harassing Muslims at worship in upstate New York.