Today was a day of downers for me. It began with the ever frustrating first period. I love the kids in first period but they are complicated and distracted and disinterested. J asked if I was pregnant and then told me to get to the gym. I know that this comment wasn't probably serious because I am mostly small but I am still learning how to let personal comments roll off my back. How do you not take personal comments personally? I guess you develop an awareness of the fact that teenagers are radically self-consumed (as are all people) and they're thinking of themselves and not me, so in that sense nothing is personal.
In second period Y raised her hand to tell me that something was written on the desk but that she didn't write it. S leaned over to see what it was and his mouth fell open, eyes widening; his hand moved quickly to cover up what was on the desk as I moved to see it. He insisted that I couldn't see it, but I'd already seen that it said my name. When I finally persuaded him to move his hand I saw it: "Ms. Jackson is a bitch." My class of 9th graders assured me that they loved me and I wasn't a bitch. They asked what I would do if I caught the phantom insult writer. I told them that I would tell the person to say it to my face. I have no respect for cowards or people that can't be honest enough to work out their problems. But again, I am in the world of high schoolers who have yet to come to understand the world of interpersonal skills (as is the case with many people).
My third period was frustrating, my fourth period was unfocused, and my sixth period was interrupted by a fire drill. An older neighbor teacher told me at the end of a day, "I feel sometimes when I lock my door at the end of the day that I might as well not have opened it."
After school one of my favorite children came in, pensive and sulking. He sat down to take a test and the said, "Can I show you on the computer why I might sometimes be upset?" I moved out of the way so he could show me. He pulled up a prison record, clicked on a name and pulled up a picture. He told me it was his brother, and that his brother was going to jail for 17 years. It was quiet for a moment, and I blinked back some tears as R said "That's why I'm trying to change my life." Later after he finished his test he told me about how he had work and I asked him what he was going to do with all his money. He told me he was going to try to free his brother. I cried as I drove home because my heart hurt for the little boy saving all his pennies not for a car or a new jacket but to try to free his broken hero from jail.
At least when my day is over, I can come home to roommates that make me laugh and this:
6 months ago