day 7 – golden rule

golden rule-5

i love the morning light, it looks golden. it can make even the worse areas and subjects look beautiful, like in the above photo. the weather looked indecisive this morning as if it was unsure whether to snow, rain or let the sun shine. very dramatic, but sometimes a little drama is nice as long as all hell doesn’t break loose and it actually rains or snow.

speaking of drama, i’m proud of how i handled a situation this morning. last week, the kid came home with a letter stating her class had to serve an hour of detention today after school. there was too much talking going on when the class should have been doing something else so – not a teacher – the lunch director got permission to hold detention and punish everyone. you know the drill (insert the sound of a needle being dragged across a vinyl record). i thought the punishment was unfair and not only that but detention is from 4-5 p.m. (do i need another record?)

preposterous! my first thought was: this woman has to stay until five anyway and wants company.

school starts at 8 and ends at 4. don’t ask, i think they are preparing kids to hate full-time employment. problem is, i don’t pick the kid up from school, i drop off. there’s a car waiting for her at 4 p.m. when she gets out and that’s it. that’s her ride.

my first reaction was to call the school and tell them what i was going to do and for them to have my kid ready mid-day or before the end of the day and there would be no dialogue about it.

side note: i had a grammar school teacher who, when she wasn’t in the mood to negotiate with us, would hold up a finger and say, “no dialogue.” i thought it was hilarious and sometimes i still use it, but no one gets it.

anyhoo, when i got a free moment to call the school to talk to the “teacher” i wondered if i could approach the situation differently. for the next 20 minutes i thought about what i was going to say before making the call and basically told her this:

the kid gets picked up by her elderly grandma. she’s a little old lady and can’t see to drive in the dark. if the kid is not outside at 4:00, she doesn’t have a ride and i can’t come pick her up. i get off at 5 and wouldn’t be able to make it to the school until 5:30. if she wanted to take her home and bring her back tomorrow, that’s fine, but the next day the kid better be outside at 4 because that’s when her ride comes. and oh yeah, no dialogue.

okay i didn’t say that, but what i said above is true and asked if she could fulfill her detention either early in the morning or when she gets out of school at 2:30 on wednesday. when translated: you’re wrong, but i will try to respect your authority and i’m willing to negotiate for my client.

she said that she’s not there early in the morning and that she doesn’t stay late on wednesday. after thinking about my offer she asked for my child’s name. i told her. she admitted she had no idea who she was or what she looked like and would excuse her from detention. i thanked her and asked that she pass the message along to the kid.

i’m happy i didn’t call her with an attitude, but kept my cool, remembered my manners and treated her the way i would want to be treated. yep, i felt a slight victory after hanging up the phone, though when the kid learned about the offers i put on the table she wasn’t impressed.


4 thoughts on “day 7 – golden rule

  1. “i love the morning light, it looks golden. it can make even the worse areas and subjects look beautiful, like in the above photo.”

    That’s so true, Val!

    Also, good for you keeping cool. I never remember to think before reacting.

    • v says:

      me too meleah, i’m always up in the a.m. but come night fall and i’m near the bed, with my toe dipped in the mattress like i’m testing out the temps in a swimming pool.

      oh yes, and i’m glad i didn’t lose my cool. i was getting quite angry the more i thought about it then i had to tell myself to calm down and think. turned out well and she was very nice!!

  2. Love the way you caught the morning light in this shot, Val. Yes, I love the morning light too, however, you know me…I’m am so not a morning person so I very rarely get to see it unless I have to get up to do something for work – HA! I also love dusk light – that time between light and dark. That was always my father’s favorite time of the day.

    Great shot!

    And kudos to your for keeping your cool and handling that situation brilliantly.

    Also, I loved the way you described this…..

    “you know the drill (insert the sound of a needle being dragged across a vinyl record). ”



  3. v says:

    hey ron, yeah i know you love the nighttime and i’m just the opposite of you in this instance. photographing at night, specifically NY, is a dream of mine. one day.

    yeah, glad i was able to have a conversation with the woman and not call her with an attitude.

    ha. my dragging needle line. it plays in my head a lot.

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