Bloody Scissors

The urgent call came over the radio: “Ms. Laursen, please report to room 1106 immediately!” I took off running and arrived at the classroom out of breath but within three minutes.

The classroom door was slightly ajar and the teacher stood in the hallway speaking in hushed tones to an administrator. As I approached the pair, I could see that the teacher was in tears and breathing hard. Her hand rested on her chest as she tried to will herself to slow down and breathe.

The incident had lasted less than a minute but it had left a lasting impression on a stunned teacher and 27 shocked 9th graders.

Class had started as it does every day. Ms. Lopez greeted everyone and then took attendance. They were one student short. But since William’s attendance had been spotty lately, it was not of great concern. Moving on to the day’s lesson plan, Ms. Lopez instructed the class to read chapter 3 of their current novel and then they would discuss it.

The teacher had returned to her desk where she began writing a note when the door burst open. In strode the missing student. William walked purposefully to the teacher’s desk. His left forearm was exposed and bloody. In his right hand he clutched a pair of scissors; they were held high and pointing downward as if to attack. Blood dripped from the scissor blades to the classroom floor just as it dripped from the his left arm.

He reached the teacher’s side before she could react. Later she would say that she froze; there was not a thought in her head – only the body’s reaction to what appeared to be an imminent threat.

Unusually tall for a freshman, William came to a stop right next to Ms. Lopez and he towered over her with the bloody scissors held above her head. He spoke calmly, “I think I need to see the nurse.” Recovering her senses, she ordered him to leave the room. To her surprise he complied. She quickly followed him to the door directing another student to call security right away.

Just outside of the classroom she was able to persuade the boy to release the scissors which she quickly tossed through the open doorway onto the classroom floor. In a matter-of-fact tone he told her that had stolen the scissors from his first hour teacher. “Why would you do that, William?”, she asked. Emotionless, he replied, “Because they were lying there.”

Scissors in hand he had walked straight to the rest room during the passing period. There he proceeded to carve up his left forearm. This wasn’t the first or even the fourth time William had cut himself severely. And just two weeks prior to today’s incident he had added a new behavior to this repertoire; he had darted out directly into the path of an oncoming school bus. Luckily for William, his timing was off and the bus missed him. That episode led to his being sent to a lockdown facility for 10 days, but he had been released on Monday night of this week… less than 48 hours ago. As they signed him out of the facility, his parents were reassured that he was stable now.. no longer a danger to himself or others.

By the time I reached the classroom William was en route to the health office where his wounds would be treated. His parents would be called to come get him.

Sending the teacher off to regain her composure, I entered the silent classroom to see that 27 pairs of eyes were riveted on me. There wasn’t a sound… until I began to speak inviting them to begin to process the shocking incident they had just witnessed. Two girls began to weep… Three others described step by step what they had just seen… A boy mentioned that he and three others in the class had been on the bus two weeks ago when William ran out in front of that vehicle loaded with students. They had seen his face on that morning… and now they were remembering that scene all too vividly as they also processed the image of William holding the bloody scissors over their teacher’s head..

Before the day was over more than 15 of the 27 freshmen in the class had found their way to the counseling office. More will be seen tomorrow.

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The Christmas Socks

A special visitor bounced into my office. It was not one of my usual constituents. No, this individual was much shorter, more enthusiastic and markedly more open than the customers who darken my office door on a regular basis. Seven year old Autumn had brought me some of her holiday art work. She reached into her tote bag, pulled out a sheet of paper and proudly presented a colorful crayon picture of a Christmas stocking. Next to the stocking she had written “To Mrs. Willig   FROM Autumn”. Since she is presently learning cursive writing in her second grade class, the words were carefully and laboriously formed in script. For her writing implement she had selected orange Crayola. There were some flourishes at the end of her name; creative license at its finest.

Naturally, she expected this masterpiece would be given a high profile display spot.  We selected my office door right at 7 year-old eye level. The stocking was affixed to its place of honor with the obligatory pieces of Scotch tape.  Satisfied with that procedure, Autumn turned her attention to the next subject, her list for Santa.

We discussed her concerns over whether or not she had been good enough this year to warrant Santa’s largesse. After confessing a few things she had done to her most annoying little brother, she finally decided that over all, yes, she did deserve the presents she had requested. We went on to discuss what kind of cookies she plans to make and leave out for Santa. With a glass of milk, of course.

Then she turned her gaze to me, suddenly somber. Had I been good enough that Santa would slide down my chimney to leave presents for me, she asked. I paused, giving her query the gravity it deserved.  We discussed my 2014 behavior a bit before her face relaxed. “Then Santa will probably bring you some presents”, but she did not look all that convinced. Then for the 64-dollar question; exactly what had been on the list I had submitted to the Big Guy?  “Christmas socks”, I blurted…Her little brow furrowed and she pursed her lips. “Wellllll…”, she finally offered, “We never know for sure until we wake up Christmas morning… but I really hope he brings you those socks.”

She went on her way soon after that, but on Friday afternoon she returned. I saw her coming down the hall; a 40 pound dynamo of energy. She was fairly bouncing up and down with excitement, and her grin was a mile wide.  Clutched in her hand was a small and slightly mangled holiday gift bag which she proudly handed across the desk to me.  “Open it! Open it!”, she squealed. Clearly, I wasn’t moving nearly fast enough to suit her.

Beneath the wadded-up tissue paper at the top of the bag lay a pair of Christmas socks. “Aren’t you EXCITED????”, she cried.  “I was worried that you hadn’t been good enough this year. That maybe Santa would fly right over your house and give your socks to somebody else. So I wanted to bring you your socks JUST IN CASE!!”

There is nothing quite like the infectious enthusiasm of a seven year old worried that Rudolph and the team would pass her friend by when the big night arrived.

Hypnosis is the world’s modus operandi. We move from event to event, or so it seems. In truth we entertain thought after thought and the apparent ‘outer’ events mirror those thought patterns. So, how have you spent your attention this day? What have you created with your precious energy/attention?  It will surely come to you, whatever it is. But it will appear in the ‘outer world’ masquerading as coincidence, random circumstance or just dumb luck. Whether that “luck” happens to be good or bad is immaterial. In fact that ‘luck’ is in truth only neutral. It is by the labels that we choose that the occurrence is categorized. And we will react both mentally and emotionally according to that label.

Beware of labels!

Musings

Too much time has passed since the first post. Maybe the problem lay in taking it too seriously… figuring it had to be relevant, interesting – PERFECT – before the next post could be – well, posted.

Should I write about food, I wondered? There were certainly fun new recipes being tried; Danish, soufflés, bread, etc., but there are a zillion blogs about food. What about spirituality? Nope.. one should be a fully realized Master to write something about Truth… unless, that is, one wrote about her own flawed efforts at meditation, living Now and accepting what IS.

That might have some possibilities because it surely is a subject that is familiar. The constant chatter of thoughts; familiar theme with maybe a few new thoughts sprinkled therein – surely others can relate to that. Isn’t that what we’re doing here? Learning to monitor the constant flow of mental chatter and allow it to subside? Recognizing the moments when the chatter ceases… when there is stillness? We have been so programmed to value only the chatter! So, we overlook the stillness.. those moments when consciousness is simply Now… when there is IS-ness. That’s when the system can rest… when inspiration arises.

So, maybe a particular theme is unnecessary. I can write about cooking and the new recipes being attempted in our kitchen. Or I can write about inspiration, spirituality, creativity or any other thing. Yes, indeed. That could work. And then there would surely be more posts. No need to wait another 3+ months.

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