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Monday, January 19, 2009


Ibuprofen shamelessly traced from Wikipedia

When I was in Cross Country way back in my high school days, I had shin splints. After my races I would pop a few ibuprofen to reduce swelling and keep the pain at bay*. Unfortunately, since digital cameras weren't really ubiquitous back those olden days, I don't have a picture of my huge Costco bottle of ibuprofen I had stashed away in my bag. But I had one. It was large.

So it was rather surprising to hear about a 13-year old girl who was strip searched for allegedly carrying the stuff.

Mrs. Sprinkles

[Assumes his best magician's voice] "I will now attempt to connect this story with today's holiday."

[Audience gasps in anticipation]

There are problems in this crazy world. And to make these issues right we can either work to correct them peacefully or we can resort to more... physical approaches. Martin Luther King, Jr. worked to bring about change in the area of civil rights via non-violent means. But this didn't mean that people weren't angry with him.

Not by a long shot.

We can learn a lot from this great man who brought about much needed change for the better. But much like my shin splints, these problems don't go away quickly. And yet, often, the least inflammatory methods of resolving issues are best.

Having a girl remove her clothes under the suspicion of carrying prescription drugs isn't exactly anti-inflammatory.

I would not want to draw a parallel between the problems of racism and the drug trade in our nation--as they are very different social ills and have very different impacts--yet, I wonder, what Dr. King would suggest as the more appropriate means to dealing with substances in a "zero tolerance" environment. Because, yes, if you are in a culture that has explicitly stated that any drug--even ibuprofen--will not be tolerated at all, then something must be done when these drugs turn up.

May we all gain a more gracious, yet firm and shrewd, approach to the social ills around us. May we take a cue from the courage of Dr. King who stood up for what was right, despite the threats to his life. And may we find a better, and anti-inflammatory, way of dealing with illicit substances.

...for many of us here, that way is through homeschooling where ibuprofen can be handed out like so much dependence inducing candy.

[The sound of scattered applause quickly fades as the handkerchief slips from the sleeve]

~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Expectant Father

*Turns out that "at bay" technically means cornered (forced to face attackers), and seems to have since developed into the idiomatic phrase meaning to keep away. I had no idea.


Unknown said...

It was my aghast response (when my older girls were preparing to enter into middle school) to note that at the seventh & eighth grade facility was complete with officers on duty and a drug sniffing dog.


It was an unheard of situation from my sheltered Nebraska upbringing to think that this was anywhere near necessary.

It was one of the layers that eventually led us out of the public school system.

I do not regret moving my girls to a private academy to avoid the daily searches; I'm even happier yet, to avoid the rampant drug usage by teens and pre-teens in this area where we now live, by removing my second set of teens from the drug-induced social mix.

Count me in as an ipubrofen pusher.


Luke Holzmann said...

Angi, you dealer! <smile>

My experience wasn't anything like these, but then again, I was in school a few miles away when Columbine went down... so things have changed since then. I know there were druggies at my school, but they pretty much avoided me. And one of my teachers, when asked for headache medicine, would say, "I am not allowed to tell you about the bottle of ibuprofen in my purse in the third drawer down on the right. It's completely against the rules of the school."


Good times.


Unknown said...

LOL! Nice goin' teach! :D

Luke Holzmann said...




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