Thursday, September 14, 2023

Two Words


Clip from A Thousand Clowns, United Artists, 1965

Let’s watch Jason Robards do the big build up with Barbara Harris in this scene from A Thousand Clowns. (It runs one minute and twenty-seven seconds. You have time.) What is he building up to? This:

Sandy I uh

I'm sorry

I'm very sorry

Well dammit lady that was a beautiful apology

I mean you gotta love a guy who can apologize so nice

I rehearsed it for over an hour

Aw Sandy

That's the most you should expect from life

A really good apology

for all the things you won't get - - A Thousand Clowns, film, 1965

This morning I’m still trying to process last night’s very last-minute announcement from HCPSS Superintendent Michael Martirano. School times are changing - - in the third week of the school year - -  in an attempt to address problems with school bus service. I will have more time to process than most folks as I am not directly impacted. Still,  I have felt increasingly frustrated that there is nothing I can do to help make this situation better.

Thanks to the example of Murray Burns (played by Jason Robards) in A Thousand Clowns, I just may have an answer:

I’m sorry

I’m sorry for the kids who waited for buses that never came. I’m sorry for parents who worried about what to do and how to get their kids to and from school.

I’m sorry for school office staff who have been inundated with phone calls from frightened and angry parents. 

I’m sorry for teachers and school staff who had to change their schedules at the beginning of the year and now, three weeks into the year, have to do it again. I’m sorry that finding transportation and childcare for their own children has been an added burden for them. 

I’m sorry for the students and families that used to have transportation and now have to walk.

I’m sorry for everyone who worked for years to get later start times and watched the execution sell them short.

I’m sorry for special needs students for whom transportation so far this year has been, in some cases, far less than adequate. I’m sorry for their families who feel they have nowhere to turn.

I’m sorry for the families in our community who have been less likely to receive school communication all along, whether because of lack of internet or differences in primary language. Everything that is happening is at least several degrees more challenging for them.

I’m sorry.

That's the most you should expect from life: a really good apology for all the things you won't get.

Is it?

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