Friday, September 16, 2005


After The Souls had won the Middle School [quiz bowl] championship, Dr. Roy Clayton Rohmer [the superintendent] paid a visit to Mrs. Olinski and asked why she had chosen this team. She still did not know, but by that time the success of The Souls had made Mrs. Olinki less timid.

Dr. Rhomer had announced that he had just completed a three-day workshop on multiculturalism for ed-you-kay-toars. Mrs. Olinski had always been amused by educators who called themselves ed-you-kay-toars. So when he asked her how she had chosen the four members of her academic bowl team, Mrs. Olinski knitted her brow and answered with hushed seriousness. “In the interest of diversity,” she said, “I chose a brunette, a redhead, a blonde, and a kid with hair as black as print on paper.”

Dr. Rhomer was not amused. He gave Mrs. Olinski a capsule lecture on what multiculturalism really means.

“Oh,” she sad, “then we’re still safe, Dr. Rohmer. You can tell the taxpayers that the Epiphany Middle School team has one Jew, one Half-Jew, a WASP, and an Indian.”

“Jew, half-Jews, and WASPs have nothing to do with diversity Mrs. Olinski. The Indian does. But we don’t call them Indians anymore. We call them Native Americans.”

“Not this one,” she replied.

“Mrs. Olinski,” Dr. Rhomer asked, “Would you like it if people called you a cripple?”

Mrs. Olinski gave up. Everyone believed that she could be wounded by the world cripple. She could never explain to Dr. Rohmer, nor would she try to, that the word itself does not hurt, but the manner of its delivery can. For all of his training, Dr. Rhomer would never believe that cripples themselves are a diverse group, and some make jokes.

From A View from Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg p.22.
This book is brilliant, You should read it! Right now.