A Most Difficult Woman
by Douglas Fong
In school, we learned about different forms of government: monarchies,
democracies, checks and balances, parliamentary systems, bicameral and
unicameral legislatures, etc. But when we got home from school, we experienced
only one form of government - RUBY FONG. She conducted the needs assessments,
she controlled the opinion polls, and she made the decisions. Period.
Not the school's way, not anyone else's way, but her way. For example,
she would always yell at us to "PRACTICE!!!" A simple word.
Yet, her demeanor and inflection when she barked this command meant volumes:
music is good for you, you need to learn an instrument, you will play
a string instrument because string players get into less mischief than
band kids, practicing will help you develop discipline, and you definitely
need discipline, the Ma kids are at home practicing right now, if you
don't practice you won't get to eat, you won't get to play, you'll end
up in jail someday and I'll keep yelling at you until you do, and someday
you'll thank me for all of this! "STUDY!!!" Another simple word, but coming
from her mouth it meant: you're not working hard enough in school, you
need to get good grades, you need discipline, the Ma kids are at home
studying right now why aren't you, you need to go to college so you can
get a good job afterwards, if you don't study you won't get to eat, you
won't get to play, you'll end up in jail someday, and I'll keep yelling
at you until you do, and someday you'll thank me for all of this! "TAKEOUTTHEGARBAGE!!!"
(One word, one syllable.) This meant take out the garbage...or die!