Saturday, December 18, 2010

Exorcising Old Demons from my Middle School

As of right now, my new YouTube video is now making its way across the nation via passionate people posting it on their Facebook pages and e-mailing it like wildfire.  To those people, I offer my lifelong and most sincere appreciation.  If this video goes viral then it will be because of YOU and not just my public oration skills.  I am also blessed to have the ability to work with a loyal publicist named, Victor Gulotta.  Mr. Gulotta is generously donating his services to my campaign long after his contractual obligations have expired.  He is just one of many neurotypical (non-autistic) individuals who have made a profound difference in my life by believing in my efforts.  The link of my YouTube video is or you may just type in Jesse Saperstein on the YouTube search engine.  A photo of me wearing a court jester hat will immediately show up!

“We need to dwell on the horror of the past only to ensure the present will be a gift.”  On a less poetic note, I have never believed in letting anything go.  I believe in going back whether it is a day or fourteen years later to fix something that is probably still broken.  The date of Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010 lingers in my mind as a day of catharsis.  I chose to return to my old middle school where I attended from 1994 to 1996.  It is the same edifice that housed demons from the past, but it would not be fair to displace those demons upon these new, innocent students.  They had nothing to do with that ancient torment in my life, but I must assume the bullying from the distant past still lingers within these new human shells.  The mission of my speech is to eradicate it like a forest ranger stamping out a dying campfire.

It definitely helped that I am friends with the new Arlington Middle school principal who has always believed in my endeavors.  Rich Carroll who is as committed toward fighting bullying as any administrator I have ever met before in my life.  He understood the video had to be filmed in a timely fashion and worked diligently with me to make the arrangements.  If Mr. Carroll has been my principal in those difficult days of yore then perhaps my time at Arlington Middle School would have been different.  Or maybe not.  Back then, I do not believe administrators knew the true deadliness of bullying especially since the nightmare of cyber bullying barely even existed.  Bullying was still seen as a right of passage.  I look back on those days and sometimes wonder whether my torment would have been dramatically alleviated if I had punched one of my classmates in the nose as hard as possible.  A weight would have been lifted as I watched blood spew from that orifice and braced for a much worse beating.  But the bruises would have healed with minimal emotional scars.  I could have won or lost, but it could have ended because most bullies are cowards.  They will not usually target someone if they know that individual will strike back with brute force.  I believe in diplomacy, but it often failed miserably in those days.  This is the beauty of this day and age.  We take torment seriously and it is not necessary for violence to beget violence.

Mr. Carroll and I had faith in the students of Arlington Middle School from the very beginning and exercised only a modicum of caution.  For example, Mr. Carroll suggested I not tell the students my speech would be on YouTube for fear that one of the students would seize the moment to get his fifteen minutes of fame.  For some reason, the Internet provokes people to act as a “Snookie-like clown.”  I probably misspelled her name, but who cares.

My expectations were high for middle school students at eight o’clock in the morning the last day before Thanksgiving.  But the students certainly rose to the occasion and I am proud of them!  They ended my presentation with a climactic standing ovation and were not the same faces that would have been staring back at me fourteen years ago.  Their enthusiasm will now be broadcast around the nation and will set an example.  I am confident the admiration they extended toward me will be delegated toward the Jesse Andrew Saperstein’s of present times…

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