Neutral Ground

One day three or four weeks ago, I walked into the office where I was assigned to work and discovered a paper bag from Whole Foods had been left on the receptionist’s chair. Inside the bag was a couple pet food dishes, several clean but old towels and a blanket, also clean but old.  I asked my “go to” person if the receptionist volunteered for an animal shelter or if she had just gotten a puppy or kitten.  To my surprise, the person said no and then advised me to call security because this bag left inappropriately and might be a bomb.
My friends know that I have, in fact, been present during more than one bomb threat (a neighborhood restaurant and the subway come to mind) and lived on the other side of town when terrorists target the Boston Marathon.  I don’t take bomb threats lightly.  On the other hand, the bag clearly contained items someone donated to an animal shelter or something similar.

My co-workers response was exactly according to protocol. I, on the other hand, laughed out loud at the idea.

I think of this situation now as I look at the devolution of the Boy with the Clock story. Social Media took Ahmed from being a victim and hero to being a fraud and a criminal at the blink of an eye.  It seems as if everything has to be completely one way or completely the opposite way.  What happened to the middle ground?


The Gad About Town

They handcuffed the kid.

I for one remember being 14 years old: I spent it overwhelmed. In junior high (7th and 8th grades in my school district at the time), my general proficiency at the whole learning thing bit me where it hurt the most: my ego. My success in 7th grade placed me in advanced classes the next school year that even carried the letter “X” in their name to signify their specialness. “English 8X,” and such.

It overwhelmed me. “Math 8X” was algebra delivered one year early and some geometry offered up two years early, and I nearly flunked. I liked my side projects too much: I wrote all the time, more than was expected or required in my English class by my English teacher, because that is what a 14-year-old who likes a certain subject in school does. I would bring my extra work into class to…

View original post 1,311 more words