That “Tingling Principal Sense”

“Spider-Sense is one of Spider-Man’s most unique and prominent powers. The power itself originates as a tingling feeling at the base of his skull. Spider-Sense presents a psychological awareness of Spider-Man’s surroundings. It allows Spider-Man to detect danger. The greater the danger or how close the danger is increases the tingling sensation. It also allows Spider-Man to navigate when unable to see or disoriented….” –.Marvel


Like my favorite Superhero Spider-Man, I get a “Tingling Principal Sense” when I feel I am not “getting” the entire story. Very often it was triggered by a student who was offering an explanation for some misdeed; and they be begin their narrative with something like: “You see, what had happen was…” (Tingling begins!)Or if they respond to my “restating” of an explanation: “Now let me see if I have your story correct; you were sitting quietly in Mr. (Teacher’s) classroom; doing your work, and for no reason he referred you to the dean’s office?”  Student: “Well not exactly”. (Tingling begins!)  One of my techniques was to offer a student an opportunity to make a full confession for a “reduced” punishment (truth telling is a learning objective). And so I would say: “Now when I speak to Ms. (Teacher); she is not going to give me a different version of the story you offered, nor is she going to give me additional information you have not provided?”  I am watching student’s nervous body language. (Tingling begins!)

I am following a current news story, and I am getting that “Tingling Principal Sense” thing; I have the strange feeling that I am missing a large (and important) part of the story. I am reading the LA Times this morning and discovered:

“LAPD will reopen investigation into 2009 firing of Dorner.”

“As the massive search for the fugitive ex-cop continues, Chief Charlie Beck announces he is reopening the probe into his dismissal, the event that apparently set off his campaign of revenge.”

I must say…this reopening of the investigation, is interesting; and:

“Beck said he was reopening the investigation “not to appease a murderer” but to assure the public that his department is fair and transparent. He said he wanted to protect an “increasingly positive relationship with the community” that the LAPD has developed over the last few years…”

This move sends an interesting message, and can be tricky. Particularly, while the guy is still at large; unless the hope is that he will now surrender as a result of this “reopening” gesture? I am wondering if Mr. Dorner is in a place where he even trust the LAPD to investigate itself; was that not his original  and major concern? And a resulting conclusion after this investigation “reopening” that goes in either direction could be very problematic. I read the entire manifesto, and much of his complaints sound very possible and plausible, there is no talk of space aliens or one government domination plots.  He seems to be very detailed and specific. I don’t think however, that resulting to acts of violence is the right solution.  But I am also reading the comments of some resident Los Angelinos who are saying: matters relating to the LAPD have progressed, but there is still much more to do. We need to move our societal culture away from a reactive to a more proactive approach to problem solving. Guns have been terrorizing our urban centers, and robbing these communities of their young for many years. A recent secession of horrific big news items relating to guns should not be the “motivation” to do something about the proliferation of guns in our nation. The gun makers and their NRA allies simply need to wait until the effect of the “news story” wears off, and then it is campaign contributions and business as usual. We may not be able to stop every “going postal” situation; but there are some things we can do like providing psychological therapeutic  “exit counseling” support to people who are laid-off or terminated (this could also serve as a trip wire for identifying very depressed individuals). A job can be more than a place where you go every day only to collect a check at the end of the pay period. A job can bring meaning, purpose and dignity to a person’s life. We can also strengthen the laws that investigate internal police department matters; truly independent review bodies could have prevented a huge reinstatement and financial payout recently ordered by a court against the District of Columbia MPD for a series of wrongful terminations. I only wish that Mr. Dorner utilized the court system rather than resorting to violence; he is inflicting suffering and fear on a large number of people, most of whom hand no hand in his situation. We can never heal our pain, by visiting pain on another. But as to the end of this LAPD story, I am keeping my “Tingling Principal Senses” on alert; there is another shoe, somewhere waiting to drop.