Tradedy seems to take on a certain poignancy around this time of the year - the holidays get one caught up in many stressful activities - but losing a loved one at this time of the year can put a poison on the sweetness of celebration...
I lost a good friend right before Thanksgiving - and it seems that there were a few other losses to the Uechi community around that time of year as well. I know that I will forever remember a funeral around that holiday...
Losing a child has got to be one of the worst things to happen around a holiday. In the news - you can feel for other's pain perhaps a bit more during this time of year - there have been a few deaths in local schools recently - one well-loved high school basketball star with no detectable drug use or prior health problems - collapsed this weekend after a game and died - the M.E. is looking for the cause. Another instance I heard about on the readio this past weekend, which is the impetus for this post - happened in this way (news article also posted by GEM on Bill Glasheen's forum):
High school girl has boyfriend already graduated. High school girl is subject to relentless teasing and harassment from some local "cruisers" within the school who won't let up on her. (I don't know if she had gone to the administration or not - I only caught one brief news item on this.) So, girl brings older boyfriend to school yard to tell the guys to leave his girl alone - they get into a fight - and one punch to the temple later - one boy is dead. Authorities seem to feel that this is not a case of first degree murder - more of a schoolyard scuffle gone bad - I'm not aware of charges filed at this point. If I hear any more details - I'll post them. But this story struck me for a couple reasons:
1) Nasty thing that punch to the temple - if this happened accidentally - perhaps it should raise awareness to those who would get a bit to "showy" during a bunkai... I know that I've had a few people come uncomfortably close or use a bit more force than I thought necessary.
2) Schools are getting downright dangerous! Yes, accidents happen - but the dynamics of boy-meets-girl and flirtation and king of the hill and fighting to get the girl are age-old and will constantly find ways to play themselves out whether it be with weapons or fists. Even in the quieter backwater towns you will find tragedy like this when you least expect it - even if they don't take a veritable arsenal off of the school population as they pass through the metal detectors like they do in the big city! So, how do we protect our kids? Teach them all to fight/defend themselves? Including in the curriculum a lesson on vital areas and how to protect them? (ie. temple!) Would it do much good at all to introduce information that instigating or encouraging confrontation between hormone raging bull teenagers is NOT a good idea? How about anger management at that level? Worth a try?
We have spent as taxpayers so much money on the war on drugs and anti-cigarette campaigns - what about working on improving the self-images of these kids to begin with so they don't need to prove themselves with mind altering substances, "cool" cigarettes - or fighting?
[This message has been edited by Lori (edited 12-14-98).]