27 December 2006 

My family and I are running errands. We stop at the place where my father works. The boss is there and is pleased to see my mother and I. She was already talking to someone and begins to introduce us. After my mother's introduction comes mine: She's the one who was in the middle of the shooting inside the high school up North. Now she's teaching in inner city Baltimore. She teaches the bad kids. Yes those words come out, exactly. They look at me, waiting for a signal of that's me. Instead I keep looking.

I like
to hang.

Are your kids really tough? Silence ruins people (people who don't know how to listen, that is), and I'm not that mean. I finally respond.

"My kids give me exactly what I expect."

24 December 2006 


After an incredibly annoying flight from Baltimore to Minneapolis, all I could do today was sleep. Sort of ridiculous. But I'm here, and there seems so surreal. This whole being home thing has really made my already huge life change feel even more empowering. It feels good to know I'm established on my own and happy. Thicker and happier and free of pain. Now I just need to quietly, fluidly fight to keep it, because life smacks the shit out of people out of nowhere.

I'm looking forward to a week of time with parents and friends and returning to a date and those friends and a hard hitting New Years Eve and my students.

It's looking good. I'm good.


10 December 2006 

Two Weeks

It would be a massive lie to say the past few weeks haven't been overwhelming. It always surprises me how much my school expects me to do just because my academy's class sizes are smaller than the average class size. Despite teaching three separate 90-minute curriculums, some of which I am quickly trying to teach myself, they have added on some really random tasks. I now make all the certificates, individualized, for our student body - such as attendance and honor roll. (I taught myself how to mail merge like a mo' fo'). They put me in charge of creating and maintaining a web page, which I don't know how to create or maintain. I'm also in charge of our two-faceted blackboard system. Apparently, I have become the new productions department, as the faculty and staff of my entire building usually request that my students and I produce random banners and posters for them. I've been delegated to create a promotional video for our school and to create a commercial for a non-profit initiative. Then there's the part I like, teaching, lesson planning, talking to families, working with students after school, sort-of grading - the usual that in itself is all encompassing.

So when a member of the alumni walks into my door on Friday afternoon and drills me with questions about this project and that project and what have we done to prepare this and that and makes me feel guilty for having very little planned purposefully, I understand.

He starts making plans for me to make plans, which I appreciate his guidance until I realize that I already have plans. That would be my plans to finish all the grad work that is due on Wednesday.

Hey, wait a minute, what about the plans I actually care about? Like the plans I've made with three of my students who are about to slip between the cracks? Each one unique, you do this and this happens, you do that and that happens, you do this and you've disappointed this and this and this. How do I get to all their teachers, conference with these great young men, and keep track of all that with all of this? Then there's the grant I applied for to bring in a radio broadcast program into the Academy - what about that plan?

How did all of this shit get thrown at me? I don't even remember saying yes, except when I accepted the job.

Right now, all I can do is vent to get it out, despite its whiney intonation that usually annoys me. I'm going to sit at this sanctuary of a coffee shop, work on Hopkins until I can't think anymore. It'll then be time to run at the gym, lift as well. Go home, work until logic tells me its time to go to bed so I can get up at 4:30 and get to school to lesson plan and prep my classroom.

03 December 2006 

Students all the time...

Last night brought conversations and a movie that never ended. We three new teachers talked about life without love, wondering how it's ever going to stumble upon us when we work, work, work. Bars, not fitting for our three different situations and personality. The chances of having a compatible encounter is ridiculously minimal.

Yet I right now feel fulfilled every single day by my amazing students. I just spent an entire Friday and Saturday with them without regret.

What I fear is a growing regret that comes with too much time of not expriencing lust, love, and adventure.

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