Let’s see . To jog my memory :
1. Town -Talk Cafe (quit)
2. Mrs. Kay’s (fired) ( …..but then rehired)
3. Salem Recycling (fired)
4. St. Clement School ( well……)
5. C & R Clothiers (quit)
6 Virgil Middle School ( well………)
In general , a person probably should have been fired from a job and/or quit a few in order to really be a well-rounded individual . Of course , I’m a little biased . I’ll admit that .
I’ve been mulling-over first writing about , to begin this fired/quit theme , my exit from St. Clement School . That’s the first school where I’ve taught and I put my heart into it for five years . My exit was not the one I might have wished for ; but , hey , not only is it it is what it is , but in retrospect my experience makes a far better story than if I had just quietly left . As that Welsh poet said : Do not go gentle into that good night .
I guess that I might have a touch of that Welshman’s soul seeped somewhere into my blood . This theory ( which , by the way , I just came up with) is solidly based on fact . Well , alternative fact , in the spirit of our time . Well , fantasy , perhaps , imagination , or folk tale reality , at least .
I should explain .
At some critical point in history , the Welsh had mobilized an army to invade Ireland . Whether my relatives were living in Ireland at that early date yet or not I don’t know . Some of them , I suspect ( with absolutely no evidence —- again , though , good enough for our specific time in history , it seems ) were hanging out in icy Viking lands and some others perhaps in Iberia . They wouldn’t even have had their eyes yet set on Hibernia by that early time , I’m sure .
But let’s move on .
The Irish clan chieftains of the time of the Welsh invasion were not prepared militarily for such an event . Councils were held and the chieftains were considering surrender . Maybe they could make a deal with those pesky Welsh . Time was running out and disaster was bivouacked right there on the Irish shore . What to do ?
Well , when you got nothing you got nothing to lose , so you do the ‘Hail Mary’ play . We call it the Hail Mary play now , but this ancient Ireland was not yet Christian . St. Patrick had not yet been born , or enslaved , or whatever other experiences had brought him to Ireland to pick shamrocks and frighten snakes and to make Ireland the Holy Ground ( lasting until , of course , this new era of the scandalous priesthood and all that kind may have ruined the ‘holy’ part a bit ) .
So the Druids , as I remember the story , ( probably remembering it wrong ! ) came up with a pretty good strategy to counter those aggressive Welsh armies camped on the Irish beaches . They told the Irish leaders that they would turn the Irish armies into mice .
Mice ? , you say . Yes . The mice would then head for the beaches and eat up all of the Welsh food supplies . An army travels on it’s stomach , as we know .
And so they did that and the Welsh had no food in the morning to feed a hungry army — not a speck of bara brith or rarebit remained . Their commanders considered the supply situation and decided to sail back to Wales to think this invasion thing over a little while longer .
The Irish soldiers were transformed into men again that morning . The Irish culture is good at the transforming thing : geese into people , people into salmon . It gets a little tricky on Halloween ( Samhain ) when actual people merely pretend to transform into odd creatures ; but we won’t go into that here .
In fact , this is not a post about Halloween , or the Irish , or most of the stuff that I’ve written about so far . This is a post about getting fired ( …….well…….) from St. Clement School , way back when I began my teaching career , but now I don’t think I have time to tell the story . I keep my posts short and to the point , in order not to bore or confuse my readers ( if I have any readers left ) .
Let me just say that I began teaching at the next school immediately after St. Clement . The principal there walked me around , showing me the school grounds , discussing the teaching job I would be doing , for about twenty minutes until she said , eventually , kind of off-handedly : ” I suppose that I’ll be getting an excellent recommendation from your former principal . ”
” Well , no you won’t , ” I said , ” and here’s why .” Then I told her the whole story .
She hesitated twenty seconds or so . I think that she had , during that walk-around interview , already taken my measure , so-to-speak . ” I admire your honesty , ” she said , and she hired me on the spot .
As I write this I wonder what that recommendation , if one ever was written and sent , really looked like .
And now what comes to mind as I write this is an incident with that same former principal at St. Clement which involves a mouse at the faculty meeting . Let’s do that one in my next post .