Chapter 15: Hyde Park High School
As he walked up the steps to the high school, deftly stepping around the trash littering the concrete, hostile dark eyes glared at the youth. He felt as he did when walking in the foothills of his native wild land, when dozens of coyotes would watch him with their yellow eyes. They would never dare attack him, just as they would never attempt to take on a cougar in its prime.
He went right to the office, as he had been instructed by a letter left in his room by his grandmother. Again, all black eyes were raised to his blazing blue ones. “Wulf Gott, transfer student,” he said. A slow moving woman got up heavily from her chair, and walked over reluctantly. She took a paper from the littered counter, and pushed it towards the youth.
“Sign this here form,” she said, unsmilingly. Wulf could barely understand her dialect, which hardly qualified as English. He signed, and pushed it back. Other dark people were in the school office, none of which appeared to be doing anything other than eating donuts and chips, and drinking sodas and coffee. “Your first class is in arithmetic, room 105.” Then she shuffled back to her chair. As the youth left the room, he heard a door opening, and looked back to see a hostile face glaring at him from behind a partially closed door labeled PRINCIPAL.
Running the gauntlet to room 105, he went in. Chaos was all around him! Shouting, screaming, scratching and hitting was going on in that classroom, student on student. Young black women were fighting, and hair extensions were on the ground. Two black men were punching another smaller one, and one large black youth was on top of the teacher’s desk, jumping up and down and shouting obscenities. Behind that desk stood a small white man, with thick eyeglasses and a weak mouth. He was talking, but nothing could be heard above the din.
Wulf, again, had seen such things among coyotes, who would backbite one another at any chance, and ally against a stronger rival until he was down, and then turn against their erstwhile allies. He had never seen it among humans! ‘These people must have descended further into savagery than anyone in modern times,’ he thought. And then he moved, rapidly.
He moved to the desk, and swept the legs out from under the leaping student, knocking him to the floor, senseless. All action stopped, the fighting in mid-swing, and all faces turned to look at him, stunned. The teacher stood slack-jawed in astonishment. Mr. Mark Martinson was written on the white board.
“Quiet dogs!” shouted Wulf in a voice of iron. It was as if a lion had roared in the jungle, so still did all the students become. “I care not what you do in your own lives, but in here, as in a library, or in the woods, the rule is quiet attentiveness. I am not here by choice, but I do mean to enforce some of my own preferences while I am here. Now sit!”
And like a pack of whipped dogs, the black students slowly went to their seats, and sat. The one laying on the floor still lay, but his eyes were now open. Wulf leaned down, and lifting him by his shirt, dragged him to the one still empty chair, and sat him in it. He lolled there, groggily, holding his head. Then, Wulf seated himself towards the back, and looked towards Mr. Martinson expectantly.
“Well, students, let’s begin,” he said, and started writing on the white board.
Wulf was amazed, one hour later while leaving the room, at the elementary, almost simple-minded level of arithmetic that had been taught. While he could tell that the teacher knew far more than he was teaching, the mathematics that were being taught were those he had learned in his early grade school years! And the method by which they were being taught, something called “Common Core”, was so ridiculous as to be beyond derision. No one could actually learn in such a convoluted fashion, and he knew from whence it must have come.
“Government!” he muttered aloud in disgust. Big government is what had so harmed his Indian friends and brothers, in the past and even now. His own adopted tribespeople had broken away from any “help” from the government long since, isolating themselves on their reservation, and remaining a sovereign nation, self-ruled. They had, like most of the other tribes had not, recognized that a big government entity was only negative, and would erode their own self worth, and self determination. They exiled all government meddlers from their land.
His next class was Fine Arts, in room 405. He headed there with no great expectations, but rather out of a sense of obligation. As he wended his way through the dirty hallways, the other students, all black, drew back: they had all heard of what had transpired in room 105 that morning, and none were anxious to goad this white giant. But one fellow, with a twisted face of rage and his hand in a cast, looked angrily after the youth as he strode the hallway- Tibo, leader of the main gang in Hyde Park.