Monday, June 27, 2005

Nap time

It is nap time, for the kids, and for about 80% of my brain. Sorry if my writing is somewhat incoherent, I have to save the brunt of my intellectual capabilities for the small children.
In some ways, I think I have gone crazy. This is just all too overwhelming. I think I am sweating serotonin I am so deliriously happy. I have found that I am constantly yelling, even more so than normal. I think the reason that I do that, having done that throughout my life, is I just lose track of myself. So much is going right, that I forget that I am in the middle of life, which, often, has things go wrong.
In some ways, it might be better as a writer for things to be going worse. That or we are developing a great plot arch. Maybe this is the happy before the storm or something equally brutal and sudden, that or I will have a delightful new plot arch where the story starts happy and ends very very happy. Perhaps that would be an even better story, at least from this perspective.
I have at least one "serious" posting, sadly, I consider that first posting serious in that I was trying to say something more than the story. For now, I don't think it will be posted any time soon. Right now I am on the front lines.
Basically, things have gone extremely well in the class minus two things. First of all, the two most messed up kids in the class got into a fight, and second of all, I lost arguably the most important piece of paper that I own, minus my passport.
First, the kids. When I was a child, I always thought it was a little shallow and childish for a teacher to have "favorites." I reassured myself that a real teacher would never do that, they were adults, and thus, infallible. Its ironic because now I realize that children are the ones that are infallible. If a child makes a poor decision, odds are it was the circumstances that raised them. An adult should have a bit more self consciousness. Although its hard to make a legal argument why an adult who got the shaft as far as conditions for 32 years should be that much more culpable than a child who got the shaft for 12, few would say that we should treat the two the same, both in moral outlook or punishment.
In simpler terms, I play favorites. The first, maybe five, minutes of my class, I tried my best to not have favorites. Minute six, I was playing favorites. Minute seven, I had realized I was doing so. Minute eight I tried not playing favorites. Minute nine I came to terms with playing favorites, and basically stuck with that strategy. By the end of an hour, I had them all labeled, like trite characters in a bad young-adult novel. In fact, its somewhat eerie how well I could construct a novel about this specific group of kids, they have all of the roles.
Winnie is the smart and ambitious one, Frances (a girl, I did not name her) is the quite-quiet sweet one, Ronaldo is the artistic one (and least troublesome of the boys, but still very troublesome), Julie is the loud talkative one (thus earning a soft spot in my heart), Amy is the moody but always sweet one, Ivy/Vivian are attached at the hip and have "crushes" on me (which is great because they can help me round up all the other kids), Jonathan is my favorite boy (he is very, very rebellious at times, but he means well and he has potential, the girls love him), Sam is the fat kid with serious emotional problems (he is a crier, he cries), Andy is the bi-polar (I think he really is - he will go from very very depressed to very happy) problem starter (he is a hitter, he hits), Jenny is the sweet little one, who tries to not like me but loves me, Joanne is the well dressed quiet one that has sudden bursts of incredible energy (she is a fun challenge to balance between crazy and introverted).
Anyway, thats who these kids are to me. That is a really messed up concept at its heart. Even if I balance things out, I am simply putting a band-aid over something that is really there. If I ask Andy the hardest question, I am not doing it because of some neutral educational stye, rather, I am asking the problem kid, rather than the smart kid, the hard question. I am always teaching with or against my labels, I am never teaching without my labels, and I am not sure how to avoid that. This is how kids get fit into niches. I already know that Winnie will become the "smart kid." Andy will be, and really already is, a jerk. Sam will be the emotional wrecked big kid. And its because of teachers like me, that this happens. Really though, teachers are teachers like me, I am not some weird exception, I am just the rule. At least it feels like that.

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