Thinking Outside


It’s little known on the outside that teachers don’t often call each other by their first names –even off hours, so every afternoon Mr. Casey and I would stay a while after the students left and share poetry that we had written, or bring in movies for each other to watch, but sometimes we would just talk and share stories.

Once he told me, “I thought white people invented boxes and they were so important to them that I called them ‘box people’ when I was younger. On the reservation, my brother and I would run around outdoors all day; often when we ate, we ate outdoors; and in warm enough weather, we slept outdoors. But the white people ate and slept in their box houses everyday, as if they liked them. I really understood one day when I went to the white post office off the reservation; our mail was handed to us, and their mail went into perfect little boxes.”

Mr. Casey got laid-off and I moved on to teach in a university, but I miss our communal exchange.SN851980


About Ryn Cricket

When I talk to people, I always hear, "I always wanted to do that," or "You're so lucky!" I NEVER want to be the person who says those things. I am not lucky, I make things work. I don't think "I want to do that." I do it. When I was in the seventh grade I wanted to do three things when I grew up, I wanted to be an English teacher, a writer and a mother. All of that traveling, adventure, and Peace Corps was just research for what was to come. After more than twenty years of being told I would never be able to have children, I had two beautiful baby girls, a year and a half apart. I spend some of my time teaching English in Shanghai, China, and the rest of my time, inspiring my two little girls, or being inspired by writing at the writers’ workshop I call “home.”

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