… Memories of an UnSat Plebe’s Cost Benefit Analysis…
I was chopping down the hall after breakfast, almost to my room. No upperclassmen around.
Him. And of course, I’d not had time to memorize that damned menu for tomorrow’s evening meal.
“Hit a bulkhead!
“Ay, ay, Sir!
Before I had even gotten to the side of the hall, he was standing there, waiting. What did this guy do, camp out in his classmate’s room by my door? F***’in-A!
“Miss Jones, did you try to hip-check Mr. O?”
That fat Firstie I ran into on the way to Morning Meal Formation? Seriously? He’s twice my weight! Actually, almost every upperclassman was twice my weight. This one probably weighed three of me. Why on earth would I ever try to hip-check the guy?
“He says you tried to hip check him this morning! What the hell, Miss Jones!”
Mr. Dizane stared at me with open contempt. He was Marine Corps option, with muscles on his eyeballs. I was 105 soaking wet, which was 5 pounds and several weeks below my “allowed” weight. The day he’d jumped up on the scale with me to shout that I was “screwing up, Miss Jones, you’re not eating, Miss Jones!” was a study in stupidity. How on earth was 10 minutes in the Wardroom, while hefting tables and singing Anchors, Away, followed immediately, of course, by the Marine Corps anthem, supposed to be enough to eat anything? Being the only plebe in my company not getting chow packages was a serious problem.
“I didn’t see him, Sir.”
“Bullshit, Miss Jones! Give me a Form 2!”
“But Sir -”
“Are you being a Sea Lawyer, Miss Jones?! You are not getting Liberty until you graduate from this place!”
That was it. I knew he wanted me gone, but this took the cake. My fist curled around the edge of the demerit form as I pulled it from the lining of my cover, placing it back on my head just so, before handing over the form.
“Permission to speak freely, Sir.”
He’d looked me up and down, taking his own sweet time, my frickin’ study time, to answer.
“I bet you want to hit me, don’t you, Miss Jones. Don’t you?”
He stepped closer to me, his nose nearly touching my forehead as he looked down at me. I gritted my teeth harder as I stared straight ahead, forcing myself to un-clench my fists.
“Go ahead, Miss Jones, let’s hear this one.”
By the time he’d stepped back, I was shaking with anger, my jaw nearly locked closed. I looked him in the eye, imagining him swallowed up by the Atlantic. I could even smell the salty air beyond the Severn.
“Sir, I suggest we take our rifles, and both run the sea wall. Let’s see who drops in first.”
Had I just said that? Oops.
Cost of “correctly” insulting an upperclassman:
1. yet another 15 minute full military briefing on the Pheonix II missile system,
2. blowing yet another calc or chemistry exam, and
3. likely going to the Ax Boards, if my GPA fell enough.
Benefit: the look on his face was priceless.
I look forward to your thoughts.
(P.S.: too bad I didn’t think of the new title, or the handshake and ‘brain-dumping’ C-PTSD symptoms I arrived with, until after posting this, and partly thanks to commentors…
1.) Share your thoughts on how this anecdote may encourage out of the box thinking about our military, and might also help, or hinder, inclusive thinking.
2.) Write a story, post or tweet that uses those thoughts. Writing is my personal contribution to Project Do Better.
Dear Readers, ideas on learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning, on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness, #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind?
This, btw, was the first time I’d been given the respect that men generally only give to other men. The second time was when I lived and worked in Izmir, in 2005, and the third time was when I was a PhD student in Bath.
Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure & #StopSmoking at least for CCOVID-19:
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
-we can learn from the past via Stayed on Freedom’s Call,
by Teaching and Learning (Lesson Plan list) in the present, to
We can Do Better: a Vision of a Better World to create a kinder future
Shira Destinie A. Jones, MPhil, MAT, BSCS
the year, 2021 CE = year 12021 HE
( 5 month GED lesson 17 of 67 plans…),
Ranger M.’s Babylon 5 review posts, because story inspires learning. There is also my historical fiction series Ann&Anna. I hope that these stories will move you to learn more ways to help use our history to build new tools….
Stayed on Freedom’s Call
includes two ‘imagination-rich’ walking tours, with songs, of Washington, DC. New interviews and research are woven into stories of old struggles shared by both the Jewish and African-American communities in the capital city.
Shared histories are explored from a new perspective of cultural parallels and parallel institution-building which brought the two communities together culturally and historically.
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