Thursday, 08 August 2013 00:00
I would like to applaud Mrs. Penn’s letter. I admire anyone who defends something they believe in passionately. I hope that she might understand my previous letter to the editor in this context. I have spent two-thirds of my life in the Manhasset school system, over forty years as a student, and then, as a teacher. One of the proudest moments in my life was when I was informed that I been selected as a teacher and a coach. Long ago coming to work ceased to be a job to me and became, for a lack of a better term, my second home. The people I work with my extended family. So, when I see a term like there is “more fat” to trim I don’t envision a pork chop with a little bit of extra fat, I see a young woman who parked next to me during the school year and told me she had gotten her dream job and would finally make a dent in paying her student loans sobbing after she had been told her position had been eliminated or an administrator who had to go home and tell his wife and children that he had lost his job and his family would have no health insurance. My family was being assaulted and to use such an antiseptic term like “trim the fat” offended my sensibilities. To me, it is like the military using the term “collateral damage” as a benign way of disguising human suffering.
It might surprise people to know that I respect Mr. Penn in many ways. I respect the fact that he cared enough to write a letter, to “get in the game” as I like to say. I was aware that he had run for the school board and I respect him for his desire for public service. Finally, I admire him for being able to live in Manhasset. In a ferociously competitive world I know what it takes to be able to live in such a special town.