A Glimpse Back Through My Rearview Mirror
Aristotle once said to understand anything you look at the beginning.
My grandfather once told me that if you find a job you love, make it a career and you’ll never work a day in your life.
September 1976: My journey to find that special job took me to a university in Miami, Florida, where I learned about the effects of beer, sun and beach sand on my naive 18-year-old psyche. It was my first time away from home; first time away from mom. Nevertheless, in my spare time, I studied the Administration of Justice.
January 1979: I entered the Massachusetts Department of Correction Officers’ Training Academy. I graduated, and at twenty-one, five foot six and 125 pounds soaking wet, I found myself pacing within a maximum security cell block. It was a solitary job, except for my 24 friends that called block 16B their home. I was called a hack, a hog, a pig, a screw and a bull. They watched me and I watched them as they planned and schemed; that’s the way it was.
January 1985; I entered the Police Academy and took a job with a small town police department. I loved everything law enforcement, and I knew that time spent with maximum security inmates gave me a unique perception of street patrol. But I had an affinity for education, so I became a D.A.R.E. Officer, Drug Abuse Resistance Education. And, because I was a glutton for punishment,I went back to school; ticking the degrees off as I went, and eventually earned a Doctorate in Education. The cost of which can never be measured in dollars.
September 2007: I became a school resource officer, an SRO. I was called dude, cop, fuzz, pig and a little monster. I patrolled the high school hallways looking for “knuckleheads,” my slang for kids who did stupid things, said stupid things, and cruised through high school by making stupid decisions. They represented that 1% of trouble-makers, my bad seeds sprouting toward delinquency.
July 2011: After three decades in criminal justice, I retired as a police officer.
Long before bullying became a tragically iconic buzz word, and long before school shootings rocked the consciousness of the nation, I wanted to write a book about juvenile delinquency; a book about high school and those who inhabit it.
So my fellow interlopers, come with me as we observe and interpret the daily habits of these not so rare, but often misunderstood and constantly evolving creatures- the colorful American Teenager.
I hope you enjoy reading Drifter’s, as much I enjoyed writing it. Fasten your seatbelts
“Shine on you crazy diamond (s)” – Pink Floyd, September 15, 1974, London
Dr. Jack Hobson