He said, "Miss, I'm gonna tell them you should be teacher of the year."
"Please don't," I said.
"Why?" he asked.
"Because I might win and then they'd give me that glass apple and make me give a speech. I don't like making speeches."
He smiled at me and took his seat. He took off his hat and put it in his book bag. They never take off their hats, these kids. But they do in my room. I think it's because I don't notice that they have them on and then get in trouble when administrators knock on my door.
My lack of rule enforcement has somehow influenced their respect. Go figure.
I'm teaching Civics to a group of kids who don't know who our Governor is. They don't know about our system of government and they don't care. They know that when they leave this building they are unsafe. The police don't trust them. Other kids wait to jump them.
I asked them the other day.. "This is the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave. Do you feel brave and free?" They said no.
"What makes you feel unsafe? What takes away your bravery?" I asked them. One girl, tiny and amazingly beautiful underneath the hairspray whispered.. "The cops."
Hmmmm. I'm in way over my head. In SO many ways. Skewed and splattered. A writer out in the world. I can't change this, backspace over it, revise it. It's not my story.
These kids are starfish. Beached and making sand angels. Waiting to be tossed back into the sea.
How the hell did I get here?