canceled, isolated, distanced
dazed, befuddled, harried
rationed, washed, disinfected
zoomed, homeschooled
furloughed, fired, scared
impoverished, subsidized
learned, helped, sacrificed
inspired, respected, thanked
hospitalized, intubated, died
lied, gaslighted, denied
masked, tested, untested
endured, abided, accepted
annoyed, outraged, protested
anticipated, waited, voted

—Terri Guillemets

Reading with her eyes shut

In the 1990s, I worked at a couple of elementary schools as a special needs aide for physically and mentally challenged students. I was also a crossing guard, cafeteria and recess monitor, classroom and teacher’s aide, front office worker — and my favorite job of all — I worked in the school library!

When I was learning the ropes, students would come in and ask where the Dr. Seuss books were. Not being able to find any, I asked the librarian the next time she was in. She said she refused to stock any because Geisel was too political. I’ll admit to his use of metaphor and some “hidden” meanings, but that type of censorship makes me irritated and even more so, sad.

      “…If you keep
      your eyes open enough,
      oh, the stuff you will learn!
      The most wonderful stuff!…
      There are
      so many things
      you can learn about.
      BUT… you’ll miss
      the best things
      if you keep your eyes shut…”
      —Dr. Seuss, I Can Read with My Eyes Shut!, 1978

And by the by, if that particular librarian ever reads this, please know that I love you and I loved working for you, and you were so wonderful in every other way. I mean, heck, a boss who lets her employee into her secret stash of dark chocolate is a special person indeed!

—Terri Guillemets