Following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in police custody for allegedly violating the dress code, protesters all over Iran have risen up against their horrible theocratic government. I wish them the best. I took two graduate courses from a delightful Iranian woman. I never inquired about her religious or political beliefs, but based on her rainbow stickers, androgynous suit coats, and faculty position in a university English department, I guessed that she wouldn't get along very well with the regime back home. On one occasion we watched a documentary she'd worked on about how Iranian women have had to leave their traditional domestic spheres to work in textile factories because their husbands are lazy, and then we met the director over Zoom and I asked him if this had led to any broader changes around gender roles in Iranian society, being very careful not to so much as imply the obvious fact that gender roles in Iranian society are irredeemably sexist because good folklorists aren't supposed to judge other cultures like that. So anyway, I hope current events lead sooner than later to the deaths or exiles of the religious fundamentalists in charge of the country. Maybe Ukraine's army can help out after they finish driving Putin to suicide.
I substituted at a preschool on Monday, and I wish I could just do that for every assignment because it was a blast. (Of course I checked beforehand to verify that I was only filling in for an aide and wouldn't be responsible for everything.) On the whole, the kids were much better behaved than some second grade classes I could mention. One kid in the second class screamed bloody murder for the two-thirds of the time that he wasn't sleeping, but I think that was a reasonable reaction to being abandoned by his parents in a strange place full of strange people for the first time in his life. When I arrived, the first teacher was like "A dude! We never have dudes!" Then she asked about my teaching experience, and I may or may not have imagined the look of horror on her face when I said two years at the college level and three weeks substituting, but I did fine because kids love me. They enjoyed scaring me with rubber ants and spiders, and then while I cowered on the floor this little girl that I hadn't yet interacted with at all walked over and sat on my lap, and I was just blown away by the innocence and trust behind that gesture, innocence and trust that unfortunately have no place in the real world.
Wednesday was the twentieth anniversary of my participation in a Red Grammer concert with my fourth grade music class. We practiced one of his songs for a few weeks and then performed it with him. My parents bought one of his CDs, Hello World, and it was in frequent rotation on long car trips. When I found this autographed concert flyer at my parents' house last year, I had no memory of the particular song I had practiced and sung. Because I'm neurotically obsessed with dates and I missed the nineteenth anniversary, I waited until the twentieth anniversary to look it up and be nostalgic. I still don't remember practicing or singing it.
The song in question:
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About the Author
C. Randall Nicholson is a white cisgender Christian male, so you can hate him without guilt, but he's also autistic and asexual, so you can't, unless you're an anti-vaxxer, in which case the feeling is mutual. This blog is where he periodically rants about life, the universe, and/or everything.