Thursday, June 04, 2009

Out of Order

Typically, I try to end the year’s entry with one that sounds like some sort of yearbook signing, like “Have a nice summer!” or “See you next year!” But this year, I’m just not feeling it.

The traffic light a block away from school has been out of order for three weeks. That is not an exaggeration. I’ve been counting. To be precise; we’re at Day 23. It just gets me thinking: Does anyone care? I mean, we are talking about public safety and near a school, no less. I thought children’s safety was the bread and butter of our society. At least that’s the tune to which our past and current leaders (on the promise of change) blow their horns.

Really, with that red-eyed bastard winking at me as I come to, adjourn from, and revisit this school for going on twenty-four days now, that question has mutated from a civic concern to one needed to be asked to keep this world in check. Does anyone care an abundant amount of criminals, bigots and just general all around jack-a-ninnies graduated high schools around this country this past year?

Does anyone care that I failed to get through to these kids? Sure, I guess I’ve had some “success” stories. But when I go back and reexamine those little gems nestled in the thousands of candidates who wouldn’t think twice about referring to me as “dick” or “fag” or the ever so creative “fag-dick,” I just conclude that I really didn’t have an impact on those success stories after all. What am I saying? Being a called a “fag-dick” is being a bit too optimistic. Why would they acknowledge me at all?

And that’s really my point. Any future gifted artists or brilliant scientists or loving mothers of three I happen to have in my third period aren’t going to become those things just because they had me for second period. Fair is fair. I mean my interaction with any of these turds who will go on to incorporate rufies into his social life or sleep with her best friend’s boyfriend as a form of revenge is not the catalyst for such behavior. If it is, then I need to thoroughly reevaluate my teaching style! Nope: If I can’t take credit for that, then how can I take credit for the decent ones? They were going to be decent anyway.

So I’m not Dead Poetsing things up. I can’t get any one of these kids to stop obsessing over being right (whatever that means, but they can’t seem to be able to focus on anything else) and start feeling empowered with learning. So what am I left with to hang my hat on? When I try to expose them to critical thinking, we might as well be discussing Jesus wrestling a unicorn on the moon. The mere thought of rewriting (heck, writing alone) leaves them reacting like I just vomited all over them. So what is there?

Paperwork, I guess. I do a lot of that. We have to document everything and I’m starting to think we do it so that we can say in an authoritative voice, “There isn’t any way I could have failed with this child. Why look at all this paperwork. It’s impossible that failure has occurred when this much paperwork is involved,” when we fail.

So morale is low—and I don’t think I’m the only teacher here at SLHS who feels this way. I even think Pécan picks up on it. How else would you explain his one final insane attempt to bolster spirits before we leave for the summer? Oh, haven’t you heard? Faculty dodge ball tournament in an hour!

Hey, popping some of these guys in the noggin’ does sound tempting. We have some real fag-dicks around here, but can’t I just turn in my paperwork and then slump back to my hole of a home so I can stop thinking about this place for a while? I can recharge my batteries. I’m sure that’s all I need is some time to recoup. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, right? At the very least it makes the memory go fuzzy.

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