590 Slices
Medium 9781574414615

The Job

Ron Tatum University of North Texas Press ePub

The Job

Sometimes I wonder about this job. I stand around in nasty stuff all day, wiping sweat and flies off my face, driving nails into the foot of an animal who could squash me if he hadn’t been tricked into thinking that people were stronger and smarter than he was. It’s a job that requires fast talking to get health insurance and a job that makes my wife ask me where I am bleeding when I get home. I think one reason I chose horseshoeing is that I had found little satisfaction in the other jobs I had been doing. I had been a juvenile probation officer, a minister, and an investment counselor, among other things, and at the end of a working day with those jobs, I never had a sense of accomplishment or completion. I had no way of measuring the value of my time. Did I help anyone, or not? I never knew for sure. I wanted something more concrete where I could look at my day and say, “This is what I did.” (At 41, I was probably just having a mid-life crisis.) Looking for answers, I took a vocational preference test at a local college, but before I got the results back, I saw an ad in the paper for a local horseshoeing school. “That’s it,” I cried. “I’ll become a horseshoer!” My wife at the time was not impressed. She threatened to take up belly dancing for revenge. I signed up for the school anyway.

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Medium 9781574414615

The Youngest Cowboy

Ron Tatum University of North Texas Press ePub

The Youngest Cowboy

One of my daughters teaches at an expensive private daycare/grade school facility and she tells me stories about some of the younger students, the four- and five-year-olds. Some of them seem to have quite a time of it. If they don’t get their way, or some other kid takes their toy, they throw all kinds of fits. They cry, scream, throw themselves on the floor, hit everyone around them, run out of the building. The choices are unlimited. The teachers then have to reach into the bag of tricks learned in their child behavior classes at college and come up with some method to quell the outburst without doing any emotional or physical damage to the kid. If they touch the kid they will be sued, of course, by irate parents who do not believe in spanking their children or doing anything else that might traumatize them. These parents probably allocate 10 percent of their income to buy child behavior books and take parenting classes in order to raise the perfectly adjusted child. No physical punishment, no criticism, no loud voices. The child must be respected and allowed to participate in its own development. “I understand you are angry at your little sister, but can you think of a different way to show your displeasure? Setting her hair on fire is not really fair to her. Would you like to tell us how you feel about that?” There are hundreds of themes like this.

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Medium 9780253008589

Stats

The Herald-Times Indiana University Press ePub
Medium 9781609520809

1. A Kormic Explanation

Paula Young Lee Travelers' Tales ePub
Medium 9781609520809

7. Vampires Suck

Paula Young Lee Travelers' Tales ePub

Chapter Seven

Vampires Suck

If the [zodiac] stars are animals, what food do they eat?

nephew of Adelard of Bath, 12th century

The neighbors had been losing chickens, Ruth remarks over dishes in the sink. Kept finding them with their heads gone.

and...? I prod. Shes washing. Im wiping. With one eye, I look through the kitchen window, scanning the henhouse, but its the middle of the day. Outside, nothing moves. No birds. No insects. Just flakes of snow, swirling on invisible breezes, falling in the gray light. Its utterly silent until the winds start to whip. Then the whole house sets to rumbling. These snowflakes sting if they hit you in the face. The edges are like little razor blades, but they are very pretty.

They set out traps, she continues, her arthritic hands busily scrubbing a casserole dish. Finally caught a white weasel. Hed been decapitating them. She shakes her head and scrubs some more, marveling at the peculiar thirst of animals.

Weasels want the blood. Rats attack the flanks. Foxes decimate the bird, leaving nothing behind but cracked bones and feathers. Americans want the breasts, putting the rest into fancy feasts for cats. The hunger reveals the beast.

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