Thursday, February 27, 2014

How I Met Mrs. Skull

I haven't told you much about anything that happened in my practicum at Gordon Bell, but maybe it wouldn't hurt to tell you about how I met the principal.

It was Hallowe'en, and I had dressed up in my regular work outfit...which is to say, the work I did over the summer as a construction surveyor. Helmet, steel-toed shoes, reflective vest, tool-belt. I had just arrived in the morning and I was standing in the hallway when Mrs. Skull came up to me. "What brings you here today?" she asked. Something inside me told me to play along, and I answered, "I heard there's a heating register that isn't working."

Mrs. Skull said "follow me", and led me to the third floor...I think it was Mr. Phaneuf's class. She led me in and said, "This gentleman is here to fix the heating register." Mr Phaneuf looked at me and said, "No he's not." He was smiling. I was smiling. I turned to her and said, "I think the expression the kids say is 'you've been punk'd'". Mrs. Skull was not smiling, not one little bit.

I don't think she liked me. I'm wondering if my story rings true for Mrs. Skull's colleagues? I'm guessing there's a few teachers out there saying, "yes, that's Arlene for sure." I'm just saying...

Maybe one day I'll show you the email Mrs. Skull sent to the University three weeks later to get me kicked out of the practicum.


  1. Marty,
    You should read this book, Up from Scapegoating: Awakening Consciousness in Groups, by Arthur D. Colman. It explains what has happened to you using Jungian analytical psychology and should provide you with the reasons the groups you were intertwined with acted in the ways that they did.

    1. I don't think the psychology is that hard to see, just based on the nature of the responses that peope have been posting on this site. The way I see it, when it comes to a conflict, there are basically two personality types: the type who roots for the underdog, and the type who roots for the strong against the weak. Once the Type B's (the "haters", as I've been calling them) have identified one party in a conflict as being vulnerable, it doesn't take much prodding for them to band together into a mob. Is that what your Arthur D. Colman talks about?

    2. In regards to the primary post, I think you're drawing connections where there are none. You may have embarrassed her a little bit, and depending on the individual, that may not sit well, but to think she'd hold a grudge badly enough to look for any excuse to kick you out? That's a stretch, and more than a little bit paranoid. You have no evidence that the two events are in any way connected.

      As for your rely to the first commenter, I agree with your assessment of "Type A," they support the underdog for the sake of doing so. They have a negative impression of the system, and look for any opportunity to express an opposition to it.

      On the other hand, the "Type B" do think the system works for the most part, but don't innately support it just for the sake of doing so, nor do they innately pick on the underdog. Whatever your opinion of your actions and your posts may be, the general consensus is that you are wrong. You rejected the hands offered to you, rejected the reality of your own flaws and problems, and set off on a self-righteous quest for what you believe you deserve. On the way, the university was drawn to make errors of both judgment and morality as well, but they don't negate your mistakes and flaws.

      And now you try to brand your public opposition with your own flaws. Look inward more. Read your previous posts again and see how you give people the impression that you give, and see how you've outlined your own mistakes.

      You'll likely see them the same way you see everything, with yourself in the moral right, even if it contradicts the public perception and what it as objectively right as it's possible for something to be, but it couldn't hurt.

  2. Hi Marty:

    The problem with humour is that it tends to be an 'eye-of-the-beholder' situation.

    Here's a different pov: Ms. Skull sees someone in her school who, by his appearance, doesn't seem to be either a teacher or a student. In her capacity as principal (who, among other things, is responsible for the safety and security of her staff & students) she politely greets that person. She takes that person at face value. In good faith, she leads him up to a classroom--and suddenly learns that she's inadvertently made a fool of herself and undermined her own credibility in front of a member of her staff and a classroom full of her students.

    To boil it down, you had your fun at her expense.

    This doesn't reflect as poorly on her as you may think it does.

    And here's a question: How many of the other teachers (or student teachers) were dressed up for Hallowe'en, and what kinds of costumes were they wearing?