Most people are totally confused on what Labor Day is. It's easy enough to Google for the answer.
Still, for most of us, the reality is that it's one day off at the end of summer, often before the start of classes. It was the target, the line in the sand, for grade school kids growing up. Picnic and family together made it worth it, even for those who hated the thought of school. Well played, actually. In a country where we make it difficult to take time off, one day won't kill you.
When I taught at Hope College, I was stunned to find out classes were held on Labor Day -- because, godless Communists, you know. I thought that was May Day. But hey... we had plans, so Mrs. Dr. Phil went to the Whitecaps baseball game by herself. Some Republicans have decided this year they had better work on Labor Day, else they get union cooties. Twits.
These days I am once again a member of a union. WMU's part-time instructors organized a couple of years after the grad students did. Both have resulted in real improvements, especially TA training and opening up some travel money and easier parking for the adjuncts.
In my 22-odd years mostly at Western, I haven't had to deal with a picket line. Before the PIO union, I feared what might happen if one of the unions, especially the faculty union, went on strike. Could I be fired for honoring a picket line? Not that I expected physical roughnecking, and I want to teach my students, but I have not once in my life ever aspired to be a scab.
It is ironic that some in 2014 are desperate to gut unions, restrict organizing and bargaining, demanding a mythical Right To Work For Less, at a time when union membership is down, and carefully contrived bankruptcies and reorganizations have damaged or negated contracts and broken the faith on pensions.
Whether you celebrate Labor Day as a salute to workers or recognition of the long struggles of the last century and a half, or just a happy end to summer, doesn't matter to me too much.
We're at home today. Quiet plans. Foggy early this morning. Dark with noisy buzzing bugs at 11. Spitting rain at noon, a brief appearance of sun. Heavy downpour at 1. Channel 3 warned people to have alternate plans today. 2:20pm it's clearing to the north with some cloudy sun. Cubs game has been able to start with Sun and clearing -- the Jackie Robinson West team from Chicago that came in second to Seoul in the 2014 Little League World Series in attendance. The bugs here are making a remarkable natural symphony.
Machine eggs from my parents 1950s era Sunbeam egg cooker on toast from the last two pieces of farmers bread for breakfast. Tomato sandwich and a near perfect Red Haven peach for lunch. Weiners from the Allendale Meat Market and beans for supper planned.
Enjoy the day.
Oh, and thank you to those who are working today.