The Rainy Season Quotes

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The Rainy Season The Rainy Season by Tucker Elliot
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The Rainy Season Quotes Showing 1-30 of 43
“The only thing worse than losing hope is to be the reason someone else loses hope.”
Tucker Elliot, The Rainy Season
“My dad once told me that his biggest challenge after returning from Vietnam had been coming to terms with his own callousness. He’d made a deal with the war and traded his humanity for a ticket home.”
Tucker Elliot, The Rainy Season
“The reality for teachers is we don’t know if we’ve been successful or not. It takes years to see how a kid turns out, and it’s impossible to know what role we’ve played, for better or worse. It’s why so many teachers burn out—our successes are limited and rarely celebrated, but our failures are always out there for everyone to see and judge.”
Tucker Elliot, The Rainy Season
“I spent half my childhood trying to be like my dad. True for most boys, I think. It turns with adolescence. The last thing I wanted was to be like my dad. It took becoming a man to realize how lucky I’d been. It took a few hard knocks in life to make me realize the only thing my dad had ever wanted or worked for was to give me a chance at being better than him.”
Tucker Elliot, The Rainy Season
“It was radicals like you and your father that hijacked your faith, hijacked a few planes, and made thousands of children orphans in a single day. You pretend my country beats you because you are poor, but you ignore that it was people of your faith that made this war. People like your father made this war. People like your father called for jihad. Well now you got it. You don’t like it? Tell the Imam that his ignorance made his people poor. You don’t understand Americans at all. We don’t beat you because you’re poor. You pissed us off. We’d beat your ass rich or poor.”
Tucker Elliot, The Rainy Season
“An individual school can handle a resident idiot from time to time, but an entire school system is only as good as its weakest leader.”
Tucker Elliot, The Rainy Season
“Cope? Adapt? Uh, no. These are military kids. They roll with it. I once asked a new student, 'See any familiar faces?' She pointed out various kids and replied, 'Seattle, Tampa, Okinawa, New Jersey.' For military dependents school is literally a non-stop revolving door of old and new friends.”
Tucker Elliot, The Rainy Season
“It’s not that I had more important things to do or that I didn’t want to help with whatever problems were interfering with her students being successful—rather, it’s this horrible truth that life has taught me: misplaced hope is the most devastatingly painful thing you can give someone.”
Tucker Elliot, The Rainy Season
“There’s an article about Chicago closing dozens of schools and I should probably read it because it seems important and relevant—but to be honest, the headline about the professor in Florida telling students to 'stomp on Jesus' has really got my attention.”
Tucker Elliot, The Rainy Season
“We obviously don’t live in a perfect world. If we did, then my dad would never have volunteered for Vietnam so he could use the GI Bill to pay for college, Uncle Google would have more important things to do than searching for eight hundred million reasons why our schools suck, and I wouldn’t be at an education leadership conference in Jakarta because there’d be no need for it … right?”
Tucker Elliot, The Rainy Season
“As long as you know 'to let' means to rent and not a place to pee, you’re all set to travel in the UK. The lifts and the boots and everything else don’t really matter.”
Tucker Elliot, The Rainy Season
“The sun appeared between the twin spires of the cathedral as its light reflected off the crescent and star that rose out of the dome on top of the mosque. It was beautiful, and surreal. In one instant, the bells rang out from the cathedral and if I closed my eyes then I could easily imagine that I was back home in Europe, but in the next, the call to morning prayer sounded from the mosque, and it was a stark reminder of how far away I actually was from my true home.”
Tucker Elliot, The Rainy Season
“Sami and I had exactly one day together in the old world. On Tuesday the jihadists came to our front door and knocked down our buildings. Our new world was hijacked planes, anthrax, and Afghanistan. Then we had snipers inside the Beltway. Then came Iraq. With every military action we were told reprisals were not just probable, but a foregone conclusion. An intelligence officer with a fancy PowerPoint briefed teachers on ‘our new reality.’ He called us ‘targets.’ He said ‘get used to it.’ He told our Webmaster ‘get off your ass’ and remove bus routes/stops from the school’s website. Johnny Jihad would find that information especially helpful if he decided to plow through our kids one morning as they stood half-asleep waiting for the school bus.”
Tucker Elliot, The Rainy Season
“I’m sure the driver was a great guy and all he wanted was to drive me to my hotel—but he was a complete stranger to me and the truth is that being vigilant isn’t a part-time job, it’s not about being nice to people, it’s about reality. I made a terrible mistake once, believing the monsters that want to hurt us are easily labeled and identified, rather than walking and hiding amongst us. That’s my reality.”
Tucker Elliot, The Rainy Season
“I thought, Dad.
Could I go to Vietnam for you?
Dad, I could do it. I could do it for you. I could go to the places you fought. I could find the bits and pieces of your heart and soul left behind. If I bring them back, would it heal your pain?
Dad, you gave me life. You made possible every good thing in my life. Why do you insist on fighting your nightmares and memories and monsters alone?
You don’t have to do it alone, Dad. I could help you fight.
Dad, you know what?
I’ll be back before you find out so you don’t have to be afraid. I’m going to Vietnam.”
Tucker Elliot, The Rainy Season
“I’m not sure I ever met an American teacher in Korea that hadn’t volunteered at an orphanage at least once—even our resident idiot could be surprisingly decent on occasion—but I’ve also visited foreign countries where children are taught hatred. I’ve seen it up close and personal. It’s antithetical to everything I believe in as a teacher. The mandate for all teachers is to instill hope, not fear and hatred.”
Tucker Elliot, The Rainy Season
“No matter the border, the Mekong has been an indiscriminate giver and taker of life in Southeast Asia for thousands of years. It’s a paradox like civilization’s other great rivers—be it the Nile, Indus, Euphrates, Ganges or China’s Sorrow the Huang He—for without its waters life is a daily struggle for survival; yet with its waters life is a daily bet that natural disasters and diseases will visit someone else’s village, because it’s not if, but when it’s going to happen that’s the relevant question.”
Tucker Elliot, The Rainy Season
“Educators are in the news, too. Usually that’s bad. I had a favorite college professor. He used to tell us, 'If you make CNN as a teacher, you’re probably going to jail.”
Tucker Elliot, The Rainy Season
“The first ring glowed in the distance, lit up by consumerism that was brought to Jakarta courtesy of western cultures and Christian nations, and it influenced impoverished Muslims in the third ring, who wore Manchester United tee shirts with 'Rooney' on the back, twisting further the attitudes and perceptions of those who were bent already toward radicalism.”
Tucker Elliot, The Rainy Season
“I said, “Je parle français.” Indira gave me a weird look. Or a look that said I was weird. Whichever. The point is, I don’t really speak French, but it’s a useful phrase for confusing people you don’t wish to speak with. However, it’s apparently more useful in Europe, where no one enjoys speaking to the French.”
Tucker Elliot, The Rainy Season
“God does not care where you pray. He only cares what is in your heart.”
Tucker Elliot, The Rainy Season
“America isn’t perfect but there’s not a better place in the world for people of any faith.”
Tucker Elliot, The Rainy Season
“It was only a couple of chickens. Real chickens. The kind that walk around clucking and pecking. Which is what they were doing. Only no one else seemed to care, or even notice. This is normal? Obviously I had a little hiccup reading my notecards. Understandable. I was talking to forty orphans who had to share a dirt floor with two chickens. No one in college had ever prepared me for this scenario.”
Tucker Elliot, The Rainy Season
“The only thing I knew for sure is I hadn’t slept in ten years. Not really. I’d been fighting my own monster since nine months after 9/11. I had regrets. I had pain that I still can’t find words to describe. But sooner or later you have to make a choice. Maybe fate or luck or God had a plan for me in Jakarta that was greater than an educational leadership conference, a few papers and a book deal. If Vietnam was for Dad, then maybe Jakarta was for me. Indira says I shouldn’t discount that it was Allah’s plan. The way I see it, Allah’s plan is what started my war.”
Tucker Elliot, The Rainy Season
“It feels like last week, but in fact we’re now closing in on five thousand days at war. I always picture Sami as a nine-year-old soccer stud ... and yet there are soldiers in Afghanistan today who were in fourth grade on 9/11.”
Tucker Elliot, The Rainy Season
“For the first time in a decade I felt a voice rising from deep inside my soul. It cried out ‘what will you be today?’ and I heard ‘relentless’ booming from the rafters inside an old gym as Sami and a group of young men chased dreams and trophies while their fathers went to war.”
Tucker Elliot, The Rainy Season
“People have been fighting and dying over religion for thousands of years. I could understand that fear. It creeps up on you a bit more when you’re alone in a foreign land. You certainly worry about it more when you walk the same streets as violent people that harbor a clear hatred of your beliefs and values. The reality is some Muslims in the world would kill me for being Christian, just as some Christians in the world would kill Maya, Gita, Farid and Ridwan for being Muslim. Nowadays news outlets and social media have reified that fear. It keeps some people focused and aware. It paralyzes others. It blinds some of us. That’s what happened to me. It’s why I felt the whole world shake. Twice.”
Tucker Elliot, The Rainy Season
“I don’t like it when Christianity and western cultures are used as propaganda to sway impoverished Muslims into becoming self-detonating radicals.”
Tucker Elliot, The Rainy Season
“Farid asked, 'Do American teachers care about every student?'

I thought about a humanities teacher I’d worked with in Korea and more recently a science teacher I’d worked with in Germany. I said, 'I think most schools have a resident idiot.”
Tucker Elliot, The Rainy Season
“The Delta agent saw my itinerary and said, 'You’re flying to Jakarta via Atlanta, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur? You must have really pissed off your travel agent.”
Tucker Elliot, The Rainy Season

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