Thursday, December 11, 2008

Jogging With Rod

This, admittedly, has nothing to do with Yoga, but it's so timely that I had to put it up. It was from my old teacher blog, about the day I inadvertently went jogging with Mr. Blagojevich...

I bike to work in the mornings, and I’m fond of stopping at different places to get breakfast. At the bakery the other morning, the woman in front of me asked me if I wanted to go ahead of me, as she was getting a slew of food, and I merely wanted the three-cheese bacon soufflĂ© and a cup of earl grey, as I am wont to do. I recognized her, she was a parent of one of my students. I remembered her face, I think she may even be the parent of a student I have currently. I could picture her in my classroom, talking animatedly at parent/teacher conferences, but I couldn’t connect her with her kid, and, even stranger, I couldn’t recall the emotional direction of the conversation, only the timber. It was intense, but was it bad intense or good intense? Did she think I was a great teacher, or was she distraught at her kid’s performance? Even worse, did she blame me? I didn’t say anything.

This happens a lot. The first year I taught, on the south side, there wasn’t any real danger of running into any of my students, as it was a neighborhood school and I didn’t live there. I was a first-year teacher as well, so I just hadn’t accumulated a lot of former students. Things are different now, though. At the school I’m at, kids come from all quarters of the city, so really, nowhere is safe. I’ve been doing this for a few years now, too, which compounds things. Parents are even tougher, as, if you even meet them ever, it’s only once or twice a year.

Last summer, near the end when my mind was as far away from school as possible, I was dawdling in the Public Library near my house. A friend of mine had mentioned that he had never read The Phantom Tollbooth, and so I decided to get it for him. I headed over to the Young Adult section, and started perusing from the titles. From the librarians desk I hear, clearly directed at me,

“Wow, so are you looking for a good teen read?”

OK, it’s one thing for some chowder heads in pick-up truck to yell at me as I ride around town on my bike. It’s expected, no surprise. I wondered, though if I must’ve emblazoned a big fat “L” for loser on my forehead for the Children’s Librarian to feel compelled to take potshots at me. Of course, it was a parent, but it’s always momentarily surprising to be taken to task when my mind is elsewhere.

So today I went running. I have to say, I hate running, but I have recently been persuaded to run a duatholon, basically run/bike/run. I went with Roy, my housemate. He’s got a bum knee, so he only made it a mile or so before he had to stop and walk. I went ahead, hit the turn around point, and started back. I switched over to the asphalt, as I’m told it’s better for your legs. Another guy was jogging down the sidewalk, dressed in a black tracksuit. He was bobbing and weaving, but without the grace of a prizefighter. He was gesticulating wildly, like someone in the last leg of a marathon who concurrently has a swarm of bees flying around his head. He was being followed by an older man who looked perturbed, and clearly was following him. I decided that the Tracksuit must be retarded, or perhaps had some condition, which made him loose motor skills, and that the old man was following him to make sure he didn’t run into a tree or something. This, however, was not the case.

About a minute later, Roy was coming toward me waving his arms and yelling something.

“DID YOU SEE RON?”, he yelled.




It turns out that that Mr. Gesticulation was none other than our infamous governor, Rod “the Bod” Blagojevich, out maintaining his chiseled physique. As for the old guy, well, apparently Roy was strolling down the street, when he caught sight of the Bod, and this old guy runs up out of nowhere and starts screaming


The Bod’s reply was

“Hey, It’s all right, everything will work out”, and kept on running.

I don’t know if this was the same guy who was following him when I saw him, but Roy really wasn’t too far away. I also don’t know if this flustered the Bod enough to adopt the jogging style he was flaunting when he got up to me, but If I get to pick, I’m surely going to believe that it’s true.

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