applied historyPosted: January 6, 2013
The bus trip from ninth grade to senior high was more than just distance. It took us from princes to paupers. No longer boldly roaming the halls, we timidly crept about in awe of the juniors and seniors who were in control. Most seniors ignored us like the ants we were, but some took advantage. We heard that one senior, a big farm kid who’s beard was so thick it required him to shave over lunch to meet the no facial hair dress code was roughing up kids and taking their lunch money.
One lunch period Jimmy N and I rounded the corner to put our books away and there he was. He glowered at us, big as a house in his overalls and plaid farmer shirt. He pushed Jimmy against the hall and demanded his lunch money. Jimmy was skinny and one half the size, but he was made of spit and gristle. “Just let me put my books down”, Jimmy offered.
The burly bully shoved Jimmy toward the shelves and Jimmy methodically placed his books there. Then grabbing the four hundred page history book with both hands, Jimmy spun and whacked this Goliath on the side of the head as hard as he could. It sounded like a cannon shot and took everyone by surprise. Mouths agape, we watched the big senior deflate like a popped balloon. We left him in the hallway. He never bothered anyone again.
That was the best lesson of applied history I have ever seen.