The Boddie Politic


The Boddie Politic 

Richard Boddie


Since the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were established, the authors have referred to the body politic. So I, in my comedic wisdom, have both stolen the phrase, and in addition subtly informed all who may care, of the correct preferred pronunciation of my family name.


Now for my first column I share the following, original author unknown. In future editions there will be much more relevant to the CCCA and local issues, but for starters this month, I share:


Confessions of a Recovering Thinker


It started out innocently enough.  I began to think at parties now and then– just to loosen up.  Inevitably, though, one thought led to another, and soon I was more than just a social thinker.


I began to think alone — “to relax,” I told myself — but I knew it wasn’t true.  Thinking became more and more important to me, and finally I was thinking all the time.


That was when things began to sour at home.  One evening I turned off the TV and asked my wife about the meaning of life.  She spent that night at her mother’s.  I began to think on the job.  I knew that thinking and employment don’t mix, but I couldn’t help myself.

I began to avoid friends at lunchtime so I could read Thoreau, Muir, Confucius and Kafka.  I would return to the office dizzied and confused, asking, “What is it exactly we are doing here?”


One day the boss called me in.  He said, “Listen, I like you, and it hurts me to say this, but your thinking has become a real problem.


If you don’t stop thinking on the job, you’ll have to find another job.”


This gave me a lot to think about.  I came home early after my conversation with the boss.  “Honey,” I confess, “I’ve been thinking…”


“I know you’ve been thinking,” she said, “and I want a divorce!”


“But Honey, surely it’s not that serious.”


“It is serious,” she said, lower lip aquiver.  “You think as much as college professors and college professors don’t make any money, so if you keep on thinking, we won’t have any money!”


“That’s a faulty syllogism,” I said impatiently.


She exploded in tears of rage and frustration, but I was in no mood to deal with the emotional drama.


“I’m going to the library,” I snarled as I stomped out the door.


I headed for the library, in the mood for some Nietzsche.  I roared into the parking lot with NPR on the radio and ran up to the big glass doors.


They didn’t open.  The library was closed.


To this day, I believe that a Higher Power was looking out for me that night.  Leaning on the unfeeling glass, whimpering for Zarathustra, a poster caught my eye, “Friend, is heavy thinking ruining your life?” it asked.


You probably recognize that line.

It comes from the standard Thinkers Anonymous poster.


This is why I am what I am today: a recovering thinker.  I never miss a TA meeting.  At each meeting we watch a non-educational video; last week it was “Porky’s.” Then we share experiences about how we avoided thinking since the last meeting.


Thanks to TA, I’m involved in several permanent non thinking activities:


I watch TV sitcoms, Jerry Springer, CNN/Fox/MSNBC news,  sports,  and  Congress, and I listen to every speech made by my president.


I still have my job, and things are a lot better at home.  Life just seemed…easier, somehow, as soon as I stopped thinking.  I think the road to recovery is nearly complete for me.


Today I took the final step…  I joined a real political party.


Richard Benjamin Boddie is currently a vice president of the Coast Community College Association, the union for part-time faculty and counselors at the Coast Community College District. Dick is also the chair of grievances and negotiations for the group, who has been teaching American government, history and business law at Coastline since 2000. He hosted the “Brown Bag Lunch” forums for a few years.


His labor-management experience goes back many years in various roles. Richard Boddie is a graduate of Bucknell University where he was active in the political campaign of John F. Kennedy, holds a law degree from Syracuse University College of Law (where he was a friend and colleague

of Joe Biden), served as president of the Student Bar Association and the law school student body.


Dick worked with the Hotel Employees and Bar Tenders Union Local #466 in Rochester, New York, served as the deputy director of the Rochester office of N.C.D.S. (the National Center for Dispute Settlement) of the American Arbitration Association in the 70s, and has worked for a number of Fortune 500 companies.


Richard taught Labor Law at U.C. Irvine Extension in the 80s, and was the inaugural Director of Admissions for the new Chapman University School of Law when they opened in 1995.


So, stay tuned for commentary, humor, information and facts that may be of interest to you in the coming months, years and the future. And we do look forward to increasing our presence in the District on your behalf in order to assist you part-time faculty colleagues in your professional pursuits here at the Coast Community College District.





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