Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Why BRB is Left Write Left

I always wanted to write. I wanted to write poems, essays, stories, and other stuff. But when I got to college, I kept using the word stuff; I kept getting criticism about that. Term papers had red ink that read: "Well organized, well thought out, some original ideas, but REALLY BORING. B+ Try using a barrel of action verbs and drop 'stuff and sort of.' "

Left

I haven't always been left. I was pretty right-leaning in highschool. I argued the biblical justification for capital punishment. I participated in oppressing workers as a Junior Achievement executive for three years. But all of that had no foundation in thought, my thought.

Then I went to college: Eastern, liberal arts, as a business major. Aside from being homesick, I managed to meet people that had formed their basic foundations in THOUGHT, tempered by education and experience. What a shock that was. People believed that a life not examined was, well, not examined. So I looked, and read, wrote and thought. I lasted one year; I almost flunked out; I cost my family lots of bucks.

So, on to public schools in California. There I met the only professor whose full name I remember as an undergraduate. More eye-opening stuff (there's that word again). But by this time, my biggest motivation to stay in school was THE DRAFT. But I got drafted anyway. I finally ran out of deferments in 1967 after dropping too many classes. I was in love, and spent more time with my love than in class. I was never good at long-range planning: Carpe diem has its price. I got drafted.

Left Write Left

So now we come to Left Write Left. That phrase was almost the first I heard in the army. But they didn't know how to spell write. We marched everywhere with that mantra chanted in varying terms. I always heard write for right. I kept a journal and tried to write poems. I had my love send me old text books so I could try to keep my sanity in a killer's world. But I learned to be a soldier as best I could, if only to be able to stay alive. I didn't play army as a child. (See posting about Memorial day)

As with many Viet-Nam Vets, it took me a long time to acknowlege my service publicly. We didn't get parades when we got home. I returned my Army Commendation Medal. I felt, and still do, that that medal should go to those whose lives were on the line. I just ducked at the appropriate times.

But now, I am proud of my service, and proud of those who still serve. Thus: Left Write Left




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