Met a very interesting librarian this week.

He spoke of how the librarians who are the most gung ho about bringing diversity and inclusion to their schools are often the ones who were ‘outsiders’ when they were growing up.

I’ve been thinking a lot about ‘outsiders’ these days. From S. E. Hinton’s iconic novel to all kinds of ways this ‘outsidering’ is still going on.

So many ideas, so many observations are whirling around in my mind. If I could just settle down and capture them in simple stories, that would be great!

So while I was waiting for the kids to arrive for my presentation, I was looking at those spinning paperback book holders so many libraries have. Looking at the titles, many of which I’d read and thinking so many of them were rather simple stories and not all that good. And then I caught myself. Was I being snobbish?



And yet they’d accomplished something that has eluded me lately and I got to thinking of how you can ‘overthink’ things.

During one of our conversations, I spoke to a librarian who’d also been bullied in high school, as I was. He told me how the captain of the football team had taunted him in front of his girlfriend. He’d held a knife to his throat wanting him to pee his pants in front of the girlfriend.

Such cruelty!

Oh the things we survive!

During the first week of grade nine, I can’t remember what they called it but it was kind of like frosh week. It’s usually a week of friendly pranks that the grade nine students have to participate in or else they’ll be punished in some way. I remember we had to wear our clothes inside out one day. I didn’t, so I got punished.

At the end of the week the students who didn’t comply and had the most points against them were sold as ‘slaves’. I remember I got ‘sold’ for about $1.50 and the worst thing my ‘master’ made me do (a tall guy with curly blond hair) was stand on a cafeteria table and sing O Canada. Then someone suggested I do it with a cherry tomato in my mouth, and so the cherry tomato was added.

That was about it.

Some people would find that incredibly embarrassing but I actually didn’t mind that much. I guess even back then I had the ‘performer’ bug in me.

But then I heard of what they did to this small Jewish guy. Some guys decided it would be hilarious to dangle him by his ankles out the third story window.  I can’t imagine!

When the librarian was telling me about the knife incident I remembered what another teacher had told me who’d also been brutalized. She said that all her attackers were now unemployed nobodies.

And I wasn’t surprised. And it occurred to me that maybe they do that because they’re jealous of the brainy kids.


So much to consider! So much to observe.

I’m sure it’ll find its way somehow into the next project.

Sometimes I think it’s a wonder we even make it to adulthood!