When my phone rang on Wednesday night, I checked Caller ID to see if I should avoid the call as per my routine. I was curious as to why my school was calling, but let it go to voice mail anyway. The district was informing everyone that due to the day of protest, taxi would not be operating in town and to adjust travel plans accordingly. I was quite confused by this bit of news, so I checked Facebook.
I soon found out about how Thursday would be a day to protest the treatment of immigrants in this country. All businesses in Perth Amboy would be shut down as a sign to the president of just how needed immigrants are in this country. While I admire the intent behind what was being "organized", I couldn't throw my support behind it.
For one, the organizers were actively encouraging people to: a) skip school and b) keep their kids home from school. This interruption of education (especially in a group that is behind as it is) serves no real purpose. Participants were not marching, holding rallies, or in any other way actively protesting. Over half of my students were out today, only to sleep in and watch television according to the students who did show up.
It's also very dangerous to only use the term "immigrant" to define participants in the protest. By doing so, organizers are not recognizing the difference between immigrants who are here legally, and those who are here illegally. That leads some people (my easily-excitable students included) to think that America is against immigration. Whatever your thoughts on the president may be, I have always understood him to want to go after the "bad guys."
The other issue is that it was for one day. No lasting message can be sent when the powers-that-be know you intend to return to work tomorrow. An indefinite strike would send more of a message. Unfortunately, most participants in Amboy can't afford to miss more than a day's pay. My students also seemed to think that shutting down Amboy's taxi service was going to send a message to Trump. I somehow think he was unaffected. In fact, I think no one in the establishment was affected. Only students who rely on taxis to get to school.
So I'll return to work tomorrow to hear how kids took the day off and spent it doing nothing. I can only imagine the outrage when I let them know that the day may not count since over half the students were absent.
Well, it seems I have become somewhat addicted to revising and admit that I am, quite possibly, editing out more than necessary. Also, at present time, I have bronchitis, am quite sick, and feel like I am taking stupid pills along with the antibiotics, so--to protect my piece (from myself) I am not letting myself near it until I feel normal again. Instead, I have begun dabbling with my website just to find a model and feel comfortable with what I have chosen. Because of my inexperience with website building (and the stupid pills) this is also temporarily on hold but the daily photographs of my co-workers and set (ie. my version of the "Acropolis") are in full swing. This has become a regular occurrence and the "cast members" as well as all the employees are excited about having a story--a play--about us and what we do. They are all turning out to be wonderful, terrible hams. I also think I need a break from the story as I have become too involved in it to be able to recognize its strengths and weaknesses. More importantly, I need the input of my marvelous group--next Thursday--and their opinions and reactions will help me to proceed--cautiously--with my revisions. So, despite being done with the writing, I know that there is still much to do and have tried to create a tentative "game plan" for the entire project.
Other than that, I am free-writing--for my other project--to keep my mind somewhat focused; the first four scenes I had written easily only after free-writing and brainstorming. Once this new play is heading in the direction I have outlined, I believe my focus and ability to finish my revisions will improve for the thesis project. It has overtaken my time, thoughts, and conversations, and the insane enthusiasm of my co-workers ("Hey Debbie come on in the meat room and get a picture of us all!") adds to the excitement. Not that my total submersion is bad, but I do need to be more objective and that requires some small distance. Truthfully, I feel like I miss my characters when I am not working on this--but I see them all every day. Only they are not in the same circumstances that my play (and Aristophanes) created. In retrospect, I was grateful for my inability to work at the computer on this play--each day after work--when Frank was hospitalized. I would make slight revisions using "Docs" on my phone while at the hospital and when I was finally able to devote quality time to my work, could actually enjoy the good parts. It also enabled me to confidently recognize the weak sections and then really make revisions. So, in that hope, I am giving myself these few days away from it, during which (hopefully) I will get better, and then can return with a fresh and open mind. Wish me luck guys, as I do all of you. And can't wait to see my group next week and what they're up to--not to mention that I really need your input! But for now, time for more unpleasant prescriptions...