Saturday, January 17, 2015

I'm a Local

In my short time living in the south, I've learned a very important lesson. It doesn't matter what your driver's license says, nor does it matter where you get your mail delivered. It is ONLY when you start running into people you know at the Winn-Dixie that you really and truly are a local. I've learned it's not church or bars or even people's homes where great conversations are had, it's at the Winn-Dixie.

Going to the Winn-Dixie on a Sunday afternoon is at times, ludicrous, hilarious, disconcerting, and quite fun. The Sunday afternoon crowd has been to church, eaten their lunch--in this town either at the Forest, a nice restaurant, or City Buffet, a Chinese food buffet that's quite good--and they are ready to pick up their staples and engage in conversation with anyone they didn't run into at the aforementioned restaurants. Forget a "quick stop" on Sundays, even with all five lines (you read that right FIVE LINES) working hard, "quick" cannot be done. Walking by, I've heard conversations focusing on the sermon at church, who's died, who's still holding on, who's been arrested, who's pregnant, who's married, who should NEVER have gotten married, who's still holding on in a different way, whose children don't care about their mothers, whose children are or aren't doing well in school, and all other topics under the sun. I really should take notes for that book I'm writing some day.

I've also learned that even though only about 1/3 of my total students, which only comes to 12, truly live in Franklin since we're a charter school 15 miles away, now that I'm a teacher, I had better look my best if I even THINK of darkening the door of the Winn-Dixie. It is inevitable I will run into a student. Sometimes, I don't even see them, but I hear the hushed whisper of "that's my TEACHER!" Usually, depending upon the behavior (not the grades) of said student, I may or may not have a parent come over and introduce themselves. More likely, from many feet away, I get frantic waves accompanied by "Hi, Miss Donna!"

The Winn-Dixie, truly a microcosm of humanity.