The other day I went over to the local US veterans’ office to volunteer to counsel returning vets on possible school choices. After all, I’ve got thirty-plus years in higher education as a former Criminal Justice department chair, former director of Women’s Studies, and former member of the Defense Department’s committee on women in the services—and I’m still teaching Police Ethics online. You can’t volunteer for the US government. They don’t want you; they don’t know what to do with you; they don’t have a mechanism in place for utilizing volunteers. I knew that. I’ve been trying to help returning vets with PTSD in the classroom for years and the best I could do, besides supporting my own students, was to get invited to give a speech at a local university.
But I got mad just the same. Mounting frustration with our broken Congress, a possibly corrupt executive branch (certainly destructive, if not corrupt), and the entrenched inequality of opportunity drives me to distraction and makes me so agitated that I feel like I’m going crazy. The #MeToo movement gets me angry, as does the Women’s March and the Black Lives Matter movements. I’m irate because they are not more successful and frustrated because I’m not more involved.
It was the day before the filing deadline for the May primary. The veterans’ office was right across the street from our county court house. Barely stopping for traffic, I walked over, marched into the county clerk’s office, and filed as a candidate for the opening on the school board in my district. I handed the young woman twenty-five dollars and signed my name to the affidavit.
The rush of dopamine that coursed through my system after my impetuous act was soon replace by a cold dose of reality. Advertisements to purchase yard signs are already arriving in the mail. Rash, I filed out of frustration, but having never been a candidate I haven’t a clue what to do next!
PS The last time I did something this rash, I was young and recently divorced. I joined the Atlanta Police Department—read my book, The Fourth Moment to see how that worked out for me. Find it at Amazon.