As a newly graduated teacher, I moved to Detroit in the fall of 1967 to attend Wayne State University for my master’s degree. That summer a terrible race riot had occurred not far from the University and my apartment. As a country girl I was very intimidated by my new city life. Although I did have enough savings to live on, I thought it would be good to substitute teach in the schools around me. I went to the Board of Education building and filled out the forms and interviewed. I told them I was willing to sub for K-6, preferably the younger grades. They said that I was hired, and all I had to do was call a number the day before I would be available and they would send me out. I was excited but also scared since I didn’t know the city that well and they didn’t give me a school map, but I gave the number a call and told them I would be available the following day. The blessing was that every time I made myself available they gave me a job. Never mind if it was crazy trying to find where the school was located. The worst of it was that they often sent me out to do crazy things. One time they assigned me to a High School to teach health. I tried to get out of it because I only wanted elementary but they pressured me to go. I went in 3-inch heels and a suit and found out that I also was to teach volleyball! That was the topper of the assignments that were not to my liking! Every week I summoned the courage to call in, but by the next morning the courage was waning and sometimes when the phone call would come in I would just let it ring! I was available but inaccessible! (And not too reliable.) I finally gave up on this job opportunity after I was teaching in an all black school in the riot area and part way through the day the school was dismissed due to the threat of more riots after it was announced that Martin Luther King was assassinated. I got out of the area after a brick had damaged my car and I never returned to subbing in Detroit again. I chose to be no longer available or accessible.
The idea for this newsletter came to me when I was praying and I told the Lord I was available, and His reply to me was, “But are you accessible?” To my humiliation I Continue reading