Tag Archives: #Enough

March For Our Lives

25 Mar

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I ordered a shirt one size larger than normal, planning to wear it over my coat, praying that the rain would hold off.

It did, though it was cold and damp. I was glad for my hat and gloves as I waited for the bus that would take me downtown.

I was joined by a teenage boy, then by a senior citizen who was carrying a book entitled On Tyranny. I couldn’t help myself. I asked, “Are you going to the March?” The boy nodded and the senior citizen showed me the quote he had found in the book and typed onto the pages he had rolled up in his hands.

As thrilled as I was to have three generations at the bus stop, the bus had even more march goers. The air was positively humming with excitement and the bus kept filling. The driver asked people to “Move on back” more than once.  We were crossing over the Burnside Bridge when he announced that, because of the March, our bus route would be detoured for a few hours.

“Check to see if things are still detoured before going home,” he encouraged us, and added, “Stay safe and have fun!” The bus erupted into applause.

I met up with my colleagues and we milled about waiting for things to begin. A band, The Unpresidented Brass Band, played as we wandered reading the clever signs people held.

 

Before too long, the student leaders of the Portland March For our Lives got up on top of a truck to get things moving. We started and stopped a few times before we our momentum was sustained. I cheered on the woman who had volunteered to stand beside the single anti-everything protester, keeping him safe by guiding marchers around him, as he stood on the corner spewing all kinds of hatred.

People on the sidewalk cheered as we walked past. Some jumped off the sidewalk and joined the march. Despite the excitement and my joy at seeing so many people out, I had to hold back the tears. As much as I loved the clever, witty signs around me, my favorite signs were the ones made by young children. I loved them, but they broke my heart. Children shouldn’t have to carry signs like these.

We arrived at Pioneer Square, where the rally was to take place, quicker than I expected. But the rally didn’t begin. people were still coming, And coming and coming. The line stretched endlessly in both directions.

As we waited for the march to end and the program to begin, we encountered people we knew and pointing out more clever signage to each other. Near the end, I saw another sign that just about undid me.

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#Enough

15 Mar

National-Walkout-2018

I worried no one would walk out.

I figure a lot of 8th graders, and many 7th graders, would. But 6th graders are on that funny cusp. It is one of the things I love about teaching 6th graders.

The Walkout was schedule for 10:00 a.m. My first class began at 9:50. To my relief, kids came in talking about it. I acted all stern, insisting they sit quietly and read, which is our custom, but inside I was doing a happy dance.

At 9:58, I caught the eye of a girl looking at the clock and gave her a “two-minute” signal.

I got weepy at 10:00 when the majority of my class got up and left.

And then I laughed when, at 10:01, the announcement buzz sounded, not in a call to arms, but in a call for band and choir students to go to their field trip. Two more left.

I was left with 5 kids in class and a heart full of hope for the future.

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