Dr. Parker is my Religion 201 teacher. He graduated from “The House” in 79 and has been teaching here since. He is teaching the children of people he taught decades ago. He stands around 5’6, wears round glasses, still uses a handkerchief, and has a captivating sense of humor. Although it’s a Religion class, we’ve only had a lesson on our subject maybe three times since school started, and it’s pretty much October now.
But when he speaks, we listen. He talks about life, and puts so many things into perspective. I often find him answering the questions I’ve been asking myself without knowing it.
So today while sitting on top of his desk like he usually does, he started talking about women. Again. A subject we students often bring up so we can take in some of his experience. But he took us by surprise today. He started talking about his wife, and his marriage. He talked about it for an hour straight, ten minutes past class time. It was one of the most beautiful stories I’ve ever heard.
Dr. Parker met his wife in his teens. They lived in a small town in Mississippi, and decided that they would both work hard so they could live together in the big city. At age 16, with his bags packed, Dr. Parker took a red eye flight to Morehouse. He waited on the steps for three hours that morning until the faculty arrived. He was afraid of everything, especially failure. His mother was a single parent and could not afford for him to lose his scholarship. And although he was in love, he was smart. He told the girl who became his wife years later that he couldn’t make any promises about them while he was away. She was two years younger than him, and wouldn’t be in college for awhile. This part was scarily familiar to me. People didn’t have computers back then, or cellphones, or skype.
But she wrote him letters. Three times a week. And though her father was strict, Parker would call on the pay phones outside, day or night, rain or snow. And so they stayed together. Finally, she came to Spelman[Morehouse’s sister school which is literally right next to it] and the rest is history. They graduated at the top of their classes, and were married at 24.
"You aren’t going to be happy all the time in a marriage."
I thought it was strange, how the conversation went, his story, everything. It reminds me so much of my own situation. Plus, I’m 20 now. In a few years, I’ll be looking to settle down too, and I had been wondering what that really meant. Some of my classmates started asking questions.
"Was it easy for you two to get married because you felt like you knew everything about her at that point?"
Dr. Parker cracked a smile like he does while answering most questions.
"I wasn’t that stupid. You won’t ever know everything about a person."
I guess that’s both a good thing and a bad thing. We asked questions for the remainder of our ten minutes that stretched past class time. But the second to last question, and his answer to it, struck me the most.
"What was the one thing that you two agreed was so severe that it would make the other leave?"
Dr. Parker smiled again. But bigger this time.
"My answer may surprise you. Take a guess."
Classmate: “Was it infidelity?”
Parker: “No. The only thing she told me was ‘Never put your hands on me in anger. Nothing else you could do would make me leave.’ And when she asked me I told her one thing. ‘Never come between me and God.’”
I didn’t see that coming. All this time I had forgotten about that part. What if for a relationship to really last, there had to be a commitment to something bigger than the people in it. I think that’ll stick with me forever. After that, he took one more question.
"What is one thing that you would say is the key to making a marriage last?"
The class started to joke under their breath, expecting his answer to include buying expensive gifts, or having amazing sex on a regular basis. But Dr. Parker replied with one word.
I realized then that my perspective had been off for awhile. It’s easy for me to let things go and suppress them. But that isn’t the same as forgiveness. I realized that I’ve been holding things against people I love. For most of my life I’ve been about revenge. It’s hard to say you love someone when there’s a deeper part of you that hates them. But we can’t run forever.
This will be a long process, and I have less than a few years to get it right. But I’m starting now, so I hope those people can bear with me. We all have some growing up to do.
This is my first post on this site and I couldn’t think of anything, so I think I’ll just ramble. That’s always a start. I’m new to tumblr, and so far I think it’s pretty complicated. But I like it. I wanted to join this site because it seems like a place for me to say the things that I can’t say to anyone[Especially around this environment]. And maybe a few things that I can’t admit to myself. I guess that’s what blogs are for, letting the world hear you out.
So starting off, I’m an International Studies Major from Atlanta, Georgia attending Morehouse College and minoring and Chinese. I only started to take up Chinese because Japanese isn’t available here and I didn’t feel like walking to Spelman every day and going through the long cross-registration process. Hopefully someone here who can type in Chinese will follow me so I can get some hands on experience. I still don’t know what to do with this degree once I get it. Of course I wan’t to make alot of money and at least be well off, and I want to be able to do something I love. I love traveling. I’ve traveled all my life until recently. Surprisingly though, despite my major, I’ve never been anywhere in Asia. Europe, Central America, South America, and a few islands. I don’t want to have anything to do with foreign politics, diplomacy, or anything like that. In fact, I really don’t care about the money. It’s only a means. I’m working for the freedom.
What else….I’m in a band. We’re called Tragedy Called Truth[For now] and we’re based in the East Atlanta/Covington/Lithonia area. Despite the name we aren’t close to emo, believe it or not. Our genre is a bit mixed right now, but we’re narrowing it down. I’m the bassist. I use an Alembic copy, which is basically the unauthentic version of the brand that Stanley Clark uses. And it’s old. Quite old. It’s strange playing with an instrument that’s older than I am. Even so, I named it Rosemary. I was my first bass, but I’m really more into the ESP and Fender Jazz models.
Which I guess should bring us on to music. My musical tastes may surprise you. That is all.
I have some business to attend to for now(Morehouse Financial Office[The Valley of the Damned]) but I think that’s enough. So, hello world?