I sit in my office, doing work. It’s a stale day, pushing paperwork, but I enjoy it
because I’m listening to, Life Without Principle, by Henry David Thoreau.
Then, the administrators, walk into my office
they come in pairs
of two—a man and a woman.
I notice that police are doing the same thing. It’s a sign
someone has registered a complaint against me
they are there to talk it through.
“Well—not much has changed about you,” the woman administrator says
she stares at my floor, covered in files
there is nothing interesting in my office, because I don’t want people to linger
I prefer to be alone, but I’m not unfriendly.
The male administrator works up the courage to ask me a question, “Your meeting didn’t go so well—you were surprised by the student’s discipline record, weren’t you?”
“I’m seldom surprised by anything,” I said.
“That’s true,” the woman administrator acknowledged. “You are very stoic.”
This point was held against me during my last performance review, when she told me “Stoicism is toxic masculinity. Suicides are up because men don’t express their feelings.”
“Men are killing themselves because they don’t have masculinity,” I came back.
“Men are supposed to protect women.”
“That’s not masculinity.”
Once, she told me, “I’m just going to be really vulnerable here—and say, ‘My husband’s an alcoholic.'” She was reading Brene Brown.
“Women can be vulnerable,” I said, “but not men.”
“Oh—that’s not true.”
In education, facts don’t matter. It’s feelings…
“One of the special education teachers told us you were surprised by the student’s discipline record,” the male administrator said.
“Who told you that?” I asked.
He wouldn’t say.
“What’s wrong with your office. This place needs a woman’s touch.”
“Now Bob, that’s being sexist,” Shereen said.
“Well… it looks like he’s going to move. Haven’t you heard about the open-door policy?”
“I prefer to keep my door closed—that way I can get my work done. You talk for a living, but I have to write things down.”
This didn’t sit well with Bob. “What are you up to these days?”
“I’m a philosopher.”
“I like Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, and Thoreau.”
Shereen was looking at her phone. It was too intellectual for her.
“Aren’t you worried that you will lose your faith?” Bob asked.
Shereen looked up.
“No. Philosophy strengthens my spiritual power,” I said.
“Are you dating?”
“There’s one girl. She plays golf, but she wants to be with a medical doctor—I only have a doctorate in leadership.”
“Oh—you’re enough,” Shereen said.
“I know I’m enough for me, but not for her.”
They looked at each other.
Who is this guy?