This is a Facebook reply I wrote about the May Day parade, the vid above some raw footage of the Bus Rider Union Drum and Chant Corps.

I just had a FANTASTIC time is all and it went like this: After school I went to the May Day march downtown where I met, among thousands of other wonderful people, the Drum and Chant Corps of the Bus Riders Union, whose neighborhood groove made me think my head would explode. I mean, it was great, from the little son of a communist trying to hand me a leaflet when I had both arms full of equipment to the laid off teacher who offered to help me fold my stuff up. Everybody laughing and singing and chanting, some through teargas masks and vinegar soaked bandanas. No violence, no disrespect (okay, well, a little). The police screaming around lights flashing. The riot cops even carried bracelets for anyone wishing to have one, free of charge. I mean the brat was sizzling, the onions grilling, yours truly humping his streaming equipment from bus bench to bus bench. And there were teachers! All wearing red, the color of the day, all of them getting their anti on: anti-charters, anti-standardized tests. I felt like a pig in slop, like I’d died and gone to heaven! And then, when I finally could drag myself away, I loaded up the ol’ Outback and zoomed up to Burbank for S’s Open House. Okay, they are a Title One school (most of the kids get a free lunch, for any of you who might not know what that means) and a PI 1 (probationary because last year they didn’t meet their AYP, Annual Yearly Progress, standardized testing goals)–in short, a school Arne Duncan would love to sell off to the military/prison industrial complex. And yet…And YET this school is fantastic, from top to bottom: great principal, great special ed, office staff, custodian. Great district too, proud home of this year’s Teacher of the Year. And she had some stiff competition. If S’s first grade teacher wasn’t nominated I nominate her now. The theme was chicks, so the room was jammed with poultry projects: chick books, chick charts, chick pix, chick displays, chick art. Now, anyone who knows me, knows I absolutely love chicks, so you can imagine how giddy I was. Of course, the piece de resistance was an incubator where future chicks were waiting to come into the world, a little cage with a light bulb where two others were already growing up, huddled together not because they were scared, S assured me, but because they wanted warmth. When we finally got home, busting with pride, S kept on filling us up with everything he knew about chickens. Did you know eggs have little holes so the chicks can breathe? Did you know chicks have teeth for pecking their way out. I sure didn’t. Eggs for me were something you ate. But for my son, who BTW is definitely picky about his interests, these peeping, pecking beings had hatched into something as bright as a boy’s eyes when he speaks to a beloved teacher: they had become a miracle, which is exactly what they are.

One Response to May Day

  1. saralynne says:

    You are amazing mon vieux. I love you!!! You should send it to McKinley too. Awesome writing.

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