Nanette, Palm Desert
I wrote a story about my time in the pandemic with my 8th-grade students at Palm Desert Charter Middle School: The Scream!
‘Get away from me!’ the elderly lady screamed. ‘Six feet! You need to be six feet. Get away!’… I knew it was going to be a tight squeeze to pass her, but I had no option but to say, ‘excuse me,’ and then pass quickly on her left. WRONG choice! That’s when she began screaming and yelling. I was in shock! What just happened?… What I said and did next is so horrible I am embarrassed to share it, but I need to be transparent, so here we go. I began to yell back and say things like, ‘I am not going to give you COVID 19 by simply passing you on a run. What do you want me to do, run into a cactus, or better yet get hit by a car on the road?’ I continued to say things to oncoming runners and walkers like, ‘Watch out! Crazy old lady coming through. Move 60 feet away unless you want to be yelled and screamed at too.’ Not my finest moment.… That ninety-minute run home would haunt me with that scream, but also transform me.… I finally realized that—NO—I cannot control other people or this virus, but I CAN control my actions and words.… Do I want to be a selfish, rude person that thinks of themselves, OR, will I be a person with integrity and selflessness? The choice is mine! I will NOW choose to take responsibility for MY actions. I will slip, fall, and mess up again; I am human after all. The difference is, I will apologize, make it right, and work to be a person that thinks of others too. Today, I thank the elderly lady for her ‘Scream’….