This Essay Is About Morphing
Pelosi, Donald the Dumb, Pausch, Gandhi, and Me

For years, I have experienced things that haunt me. These hauntings are not the garden variety of ghouls or ghosts of the night. For me, my hauntings are things that I can’t fully explain until I force myself to discover reality. This article is a morphing of several things that haunted me and have morphed together. The first has to do with our fake president.

What’s with Donald the Dumb’s behavior? He shutdown the federal government over not getting his wall. Hundreds of thousands of people went without pay, because Congress didn’t approve paying for his wall. The adverse effect of the shutdown caused 800,000 federal workers to go without pay for over a month. However, hundreds of thousands of other non-federal employees were also affected financially, because Baby Trump did not get his way and his wall. He wasn’t able to get it even when both the Senate and the House of Representatives were controlled by republicans. Now, he is blaming the democrats who control the House.

Baby Trump and his babysitters

We are approaching another government shutdown in a couple of days. Trump makes Nixon look nearly angelic in comparison. That is the first haunting, but it morphs into my dream.

I’m rattled, because I can’t do anything about my goal…my dream. I need to raise $500,000 in less than a year…to be more precise in ten months. I need to buy 1250 laptops and improve the Internet reception to two schools in Myanmar where my three granddaughters attend. I’m incorporated, but I still need to get from the IRS a 501(c)(3) designation as a not-for-profit charity. Without that designation, I can’t post my request for a half million dollars on GoFundMe’s website.

I’m irked about Donald the Dumb’s personal drive for his wall, which affected hundreds of thousands of Americans. Additionally, it affects 1250 students in Taunggyi, Myanmar who make up my extended family. He didn’t care about all the hundreds of thousands of Americans who suffered; he couldn’t care less about how his shutdown affected 1250 students in a far country in the world. Most of those students in Myanmar haven’t even used a computer let alone have one in their homes. Actually, Donald the Dumb couldn’t locate Myanmar on a map.

Nevertheless, Donald the Dumb has put up a wall that stops me from helping 1250 students improve their academic abilities. So, I’m in a holding pattern while I wait for the IRS to catch up due to a month that the government was shutdown. That is my second haunting.

During this time period, I am teaching a couple of college classes online. One of my students posted her essay for this week. It fascinates me how the wall issue morphs together with my teaching. The following is part of a student’s essay last week:

Though after reading your PowerPoint and thinking about something that has always come to my mind when I hear the word Hinduism is Gandhi. I have heard quotes and sayings that Gandhi had said or believed in but never took the time to research the background about him or where the quote first originated from…. I simply loved that Gandhi always spoke his mind and tried to make people see the good in things. He wanted people to be truthful and always believed in helping others. He even spent twenty years in South Africa fighting for what he believed in, and finally gaining Indian citizenship rights. A lot of the quotes that Gandhi said were very inspiring and meant to change people’s lives. Though I have a few, one of my favorite quotes that he said was “Be the change you want to see in the world.” I could not agree more with this quote and I think it describes Gandhi very well. He was always striving to help others and get the message out there of what he believed in.

This is a part of my reply.

Gandhi was so far beyond the norm, but it cost him. He paid for that by being killed. Tragically, an American who followed in Gandhi's footsteps and was killed also. Do you see a pattern?

Gandhi spent time in South Africa, which was under British rule. So, he discovered racism…black/white racism. I liked your quote: “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Actually, I'm writing an essay about that in America as it relates to the shutdown and the president’s the wall.

This is my favorite one-liner, because, I wasn't happy last night’s State of the Union address by our president. Gandhi said, "Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony." Surely, that applies to Trump.

It is interesting how things seem to morph together. I replied to my student that I was using her quote from Gandhi, “Be the change you want to see in the world” that I was in the process of writing. In addition, I mentioned another pithy one-liner of Gandhi’s, “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”

Obviously, Trump is not happy. In spite of what he said during his State of the Union message, nothing in Trump’s world is in harmony.

This is a great photo of the three most important people in our government. Look at the two clapping and at Trump acknowledging Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s applause.

The Speaker of the House’s State of the Union with saying a word

The most important message in the State of the Union wasn’t spoken. Donald the Dumb missed the message by Pelosi’s State of the Union address…one without a spoken word. Pence applauded his master’s words, but neither he nor the president heard the deafening silence of Pelosi’s address.

Donald the Dumb actually thanked Pelosi’s meme downward applause. Some writer said that her applause was a meme comment very much like that of a mother whose child misbehaved, and the mother verbally disciplined her child. Obviously, Trump missed Pelosi’s meme, which was another haunting for me.

Finally, Randy Pausch’s The Last Lecture radically changed my life. His Last Lecture was given as he was dying with pancreatic cancer. However, it has caused millions who have danced with death to come alive…and I am one of the many millions. In both the lecture and his book, Pausch talked about walls. “The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out; the brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something.”

This is where the other Gandhi’s comment enters the picture, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Donald the Dumb is about himself. He won’t change. However, I want to help 1250 students realize all their academic abilities. Why? Why do want to help them change their academic world?

Is it that I am vitreous? No. It has nothing to do with virtue. Simply put, I don’t want those students to feel like I felt when my family moved to Mt. Lebanon. At that time, I was an above average kid in elementary school in Pennsauken, NJ. However, my family moved to Mt. Lebanon because the schools were good. At that time, Mt. Lebanon was the 19th best school system in all of America. One of the things I learned and carried with me through half my life was that I was dumb.

Man, even though I learned that I had miscalculated my ability level in the latter half of my life, I still can taste that feeling. I don’t want my students that I am teaching now to feel dumb. I surely don’t want my three granddaughters or their classmates who are my extended family to feel dumb like I did.