The King…and I

10 Oct

Today I want to tell you about one of my favorite blog-readers.  His name is Patrick, and we’ve known each other since doing The King and I together about three years ago.  I am uber-excited because Patrick is coming to SATX to see my show this weekend!  Woo Hoo!!

So, Patrick has been a teacher since graduation.  Middle school, y’all.  That takes some kind of extra-angelic qualities that I do NOT have.  To top that off, he spent quite a few years as an assistant principal at an “at-risk” middle school.  I’m telling you, he’s a saint.  We both left Houston the same year, and he now works in Dallas for a company called Avid that helps schools identify gifted and talented kids in at-risk populations.  How cool is that? 

We had a very interesting journey together through The King and I.  That show is largely about race relations and class warfare in Siam (Thailand) in the late 1800’s.  Patrick taught me about race and class in America today.  We talked about poverty and it’s hold on people.  We discussed stereotypes, and then the reality.  He let me ask my questions, and he answered them honestly.  We debated, argued sometimes, but always found resolution.  I had never read The Color Purple – he insisted that I read it.  To this day it’s one of the best books I’ve ever read.  He opened my eyes to things I didn’t understand.  He helped me see that there are some things that I, an upper-middle class white woman, will never understand.  And yet he encouraged me to keep trying. 

I see the world differently now.  I see people differently.  I see poverty differently.

This is a picture of one of my favorite moments in the show.  He takes his ring off and gives it to her, insisting that she wear it.  She accepts, not knowing what to say. 

We should all be so fortunate as to have a friend like Patrick in our lives.  Someone who keeps us honest, and teaches us more.

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2 Responses to “The King…and I”

  1. Barb October 11, 2008 at 6:28 pm #

    Break a leg this weekend! And kudos to Patrick. I also teach at an at-risk middle school, and we have the AVID program at our school.

  2. Erin October 13, 2008 at 8:32 am #

    Man, this makes me miss both you AND Patrick!! You guys need to come home!!!

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