Yes, I know, that you probably shouldn’t use tard as a word.  Nobody likes being called retarded, even though most of us have some kind of retardation. I can prove that I have retardation problems.  I have borderline social retardation problems coupled with the fact that I am highly capable of doing some highly retarded stuff on my own.  

      On the other side, there are people with actual retardation problems.  It doesn’t change them as people.  It just changes how they do things.  Some of my most cherished memories of teaching and working with young people involve dealing with some issues that some kids were faced with.  I’ve mentioned Brady on here before. Brady has Down’s syndrome.  But he is one of the best people I know.  I don’t get to see him or talk to him as often as I should, but that is my fault.  EVERYBODY is in a better mood when they deal with Brady.  Even when he has a bad day, he makes others smile.  What’s retarded about that?  Nothing.  I can’t do that.  When I have a bad day, I can make everybody in my vicinty also have a bad day.  Not Brady.  That’s why he is a better person than me.  He has a special family and therefore, he makes others around him feel special.  

      When I taught at Waynoka, I had a prized student that I called “Bird”.  He wasn’t right in the head due to his home-life, incest and various other problems associated with his family including several chemical problems.  I’ve got piles of stories that involve Bird.  He was a loyal student.  He couldn’t always spell his own name, but he still made an A in my classes.  I have always put a lot of emphasis on work ethic and he would work if he felt needed.  If I needed something done around the ag farm, I’d just ask Bird.  It would get done as long as I was there to help him.  When he got in trouble in other classes, before they would punish him, they would talk to me as to how to handle him.  Most of his punishments, from other classes, involved working with me around the school or the ag farm.  If you’ve got an hour or two, I can tell you all kinds of Bird stories.  All of them are real and have witnesses.  Poe has a few Bird stories as well.  

     I had another student at Waynoka that I called, “Flash”.  He had a motorcycle accident that caused his problems.  Once again, I have piles of stories.  All of them classic.

     Before all of the previously mentioned people came about, I served a 3 year sentence teaching at Billings.  I have lots of retarded stories from that place for some reason. High percentage.  Proof– Mike Parrish is a Billings graduate.  I think he was a valedictorian.  

      I have no problems with somebody being retarded.  I would rather a person have an issue and work around it, then be extremely intelligent and piss it away by being a lazy turd.  I have a huge respect for people and families that deal with whatever problems have been thrown their way and actually turn it into a positive.  None of us are perfect, but some, like Brady are a little closer than the rest of us.  I’ve always had a soft spot for somebody that “wasn’t quite right”.  If you know there is an issue, it is easy to work around it.  This is probably why I get along so well with Big I, Milligan, Big Bill, Mikey and Schoovy.  

    The following question is from Duke.  “If you are late for special ed class, is it wrong for the special ed teacher to call a student ‘tardy'”?

Have a good day, good week and like the tire, good year.   Stay flexible, but not limp.