Turned away, yet again

No call out, though the person in charge had confirmed in an email a week ago that one was set up. No call out, no class. You might think that I’d have learned by now to call to find out whether on any given scheduled day the gate clearance and call outs were in place. The last time I did that though — at a meeting on Memorial Day I’d gotten clearance for weeks in advance — I was told by the guard who took the call that no, I should not come because there would be no call out because they were too short staffed to have a guard in the school that night. Made sense, indeed that’s why I called to double check. But at our next meeting I learned that there HAD been a call out, and thus of course a school guard. And when that happens the men just sit in the room for the allotted two hours. Demoralizing to have read and prepared material, also to have to push back the discussion of that material, but not the worst thing for them.

The scheduled reading and discussion last night of chapter three of the Montaigne book How to Live, “Be Born,” would have been eerily timely in the wake of Charlottesville. Bakewell ends the chapter with a discussion of a formative salt tax riot in which Montaigne saw a man beaten to death and lynched. Something he — and the region he was later in charge of politically — of course never forgot.


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