As of 45 minutes ago, classes and all activities have been cancelled for the rest of the day in anticipation of the snow storm that is headed this way. Only in Iowa do you miss school for snow that hasn’t even happened yet. Although, rumor has it, that I-80 has been closed west of Des Moines and that a full scale blizzard is going to start any minute.
When I arrived home on Tuesday, it looked as if a tornado had struck. There were trees down everywhere, including my front yard. In fact, my driveway is blocked by a huge limb that is still somewhat connected to the tree in my front yard. This is all a result of the huge ice storm that came through over the weekend. There are still a number of people who are without electricity and won’t have it until the end of the weekend. I don’t have cable and Internet, but I do have power. Of course in the middle of nowhere, cable and Internet are essentials. I actually left home an hour early this morning so I could get to school and check email and read a few of the blogs that I read. I’ll keep you posted on whether the weather arrives.
I told you I would report on the weekend. I’ll start with my friend’s memorial service. It was actually quite nice, for a family man, with a son. The were co-workers singing his praises, a wife who told funny stories, and a band that played a medly of songs from a show that he was known for designing. All of this would be fine if it fit the person. What they forgot to mention is that he had left his wife more than 15 years ago to be gay, was a teacher with students who loved and hated him, and that the leader of the band refused to work with him anymore.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think his dirty laundry should be dragged out for everyone to see, but let’s not forget that he was human and made mistakes. How do you ignore the fact that he’s gay. GAY!!! It was mentioned once in two hours and that was barely in passing. In fact in the final thank you’s his ex-wife was referred to as his wife even though they haven’t been married for years and she’s been remarried for years. Let’s forget to mention that he’s had two significant lovers in the past ten years and even had a commitment ceremony with one of them. It was as if we pretended that if we didn’t say anything, then it never was. I wonder if this works with living people.
Next, we have to discuss the band that played. They were really good and the medley they played was quite uplifting. Putting that aside we have to look at the political implications. My friend C.P. hadn’t worked with the D.M. in years. C.P. made it very clear that there was no love lost between the two of them and that D.M. was pretty much an ass. And yet, standing on stage, as though they were long lost friends was D.M. singing his little heart out. The hypocrisy makes me shudder.
I guess the last thing that bothered me was that there was only one student who spoke. Besides his immediate family, I would like to think it was our lives he touched the most. I will never pick up a pencil again to start a design without thinking of C.P. I won’t choose color, or a light without thinking of him. I will never forget his dry British sense of humor. I won’t forget how cheap he was. I also won’t forget how talented he was and how generous it was of him to share his knowledge with us. None of these things were spoken at his memorial. I don’t think it should have necessarily been me to speak. But the voice of some of his students should have been heard. His design work aside, his teaching is what he’ll be remembered for most.
Other than those things it was a very nice event and I’m glad that I went. I got to see a lot of people I hadn’t seen in a while. Besides if I’d stayed in Iowa, I would have been without power all weekend and sleeping in my office.