Yesterday was the first day of school for 2011/2012 and as I was going over things with my 140 new students we looked at the code of conduct for schools in New Brunswick. There is nothing shocking in the code and, as I said to the kids, if we could all follow that every day our school would be amazing! The thing is that we all intend to do just that. There is not one of us, I don’t think, who gets up in the morning planning ahead to break a few rules, be rude, pick a fight, deface some property and maybe steal something!
I am also listening to The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas and now feel I have to temper that last statement. One of the characters is an exception to what I wrote in the last paragraph. She does, indeed, wake in the morning with plans to, at one point in the book, connive to get someone to murder the Duke of Buckingham, break her out of a sort of prison, and provide her transportation from England to France where she has further designs to murder, or cause to be murdered, at least one more person. I can hardly stand to listen to those portions of the book in which she is weaving her plans! She is, in a word, evil!
I suppose that people who make their livings through crime are often engaged in planning to do things which would be contrary to the code of conduct. I do maintain, however, that my students do not leave home in the morning with a plan to break the code of conduct. What happens to most of us is that we get caught in unexpected circumstances for which we lack the preparation, or the strength to avoid reacting on a purely emotional level. Sadly, neither my ever vigilant pooch, nor a selection of rapiers will protect me against the next time I