It's always easy to see the more extreme in any situation. Often times we either see the best in people, or more commonly, the absolute worst. People can do such awful things that no one wants to discus their good attributes, or vice versa.
Hitler assisted in the murder of 11+ million people, you can find endless books and History Channel shows on this fact, however, the fact that he was, during much of his life, just a regular Bavarian guy who happened to like dumplings and Wagner, is often ignored.
Gandhi, helped free the nation of India from centuries of British oppression. Yet the fact that he most likely slept with underage girls, including his own relatives, is often over looked. No one wants to see the dark side of their hero, or the good side of their favorite villain. People want to believe that whatever created this person is black or white. I believe that people fear the likable or unlikeable side, because they recognize they wish to keep this person separate from themselves.
That is why it never seizes to amaze me that I find the name Bryce Milligan floating around the San Antonio Current, and various literary circles. Before I lambast this man however, I feel a short history is needed.
Bryce Milligan is a local San Antonio writer, who is the head of Wings Press. During the late nineties and early ots, he was a beloved teacher of Creative Writing at N.E.S.A., a local magnet program for artistically inclined youth. In 2002 he resigned. This resignation had little to do with some desire to spend more time with his family or spend more time developing his writing skills. I know this because at the time of his resignation, the circumstances of his resignation were quite public to anyone, such as myself, on the NESA, ISA, Lee campus. His resignation had more to do with his year long harassment of a young, 14 year old, student of his (This included late night phone calls, strange notes, and on one occasion attempted kidnapping.) While this harassment was not necessarily new (In fact it fell into a long line of young females who Bryce Milligan sexually harassed in his career as a teacher.) it was the first of which, where the young student fought back, and despite the unwillingness of NESA administration at the time, was able to force Milligan into resignation.
Since then, Milligan has gone on to do exhibits at Museums around San Antonio, and at Luminaria. His works often include references to, drawings of, or songs about the young women who he harassed during his tenure as a teacher at NESA. This is however lost upon his audiences, who most likely do not know him in depth enough to be aware of these qualms.
So in spite of his likability and creative spirit, this man too has qualms that many are woefully unaware of. I want to end this blog by stating that I am not writing this because I was victimized by this man, whom I never had as a teacher, nor do I wish to defame him beyond the facts of his actions, which I have a factual account of. However, I do wish to give an individual account of the magnet school system gone wrong. In these institutions I viewed, first hand, one too many accounts of people, often in the role of "teacher," who abused their reputation as a likable, trustworthy individual. If I could have one wish of mine come to fruition in this circumstance, it would be to know that the often occurring, "buddy-system" in these schools would break down, so that an honest and open atmosphere of learning may take place.