Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Two Stories

I'm just gonna skip over the whole bit about how long it's been since I last wrote anything here and launch in instead.

Here are my two stories.

One involves a really shitty day last week.  That's right.  So disheartening that I deign to curse right out there in the open.  And of what, pray tell, was this miserable day composed?  My principal let me down, bummed me out...repeatedly in one day.  I started the day by leading a 7am meeting with parents (yep, that's right, 7-butt-crack-'o-dawn meeting) and I ended the day by leading a two-hour meeting with my staff.  The dude didn't show up for the first meeting, which he promised he'd be at, and he did show up for the second meeting, and proceeded to tell us all that we sucked, basically.  Which is far from true.  We've got a dedicated team of teachers who I am proud to work with.  Even if staplers do go missing once in a while.

I know this is sounding melodramatic.  But I love my principal.  Adore him.  He's my hero and all that.  And he ruined both meetings last week, in a single day.  And the meetings themselves weren't actually a big deal at all.  It's the larger implications of the whole mess.  I won't bore you.  Just know that in over five years of working at this school, it was the first day ever that I thought about looking for a new job.  And that was sad.  And I was sad.

But!  That's not even the story!  The story is this: on that terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, a single thing made me happy.  I have a student who agreed to stop storing his homework in his pockets and start using folders.  Yup.  That's it.  And I was thrilled.  No sarcasm.  No more pockets.  It's monumental.

I only think of it today because we had a long talk about how poorly he's been doing in school the past few days.  The brief version is this: his mom is crazy and treats him horribly.  He is so very angry at her that he is bound and determined to fail at everything in life so that she is proven to be a bad mother.  He does not want her to be able to take credit for any success he might have in life, so he has decided to have no successes.  And he's not kidding.  It's strangely illogical logic.

Nonetheless, as he folded his math project up today to store in his pocket, I squawked at him to get out his folder.  Moments later he was back from his locker with a beautiful blue folder, which was even labeled "MATH."  It cracks me up that he retrieved the correct subject folder.  And he obliged me by unfolding his project and putting it neatly into his folder.  I know it doesn't sound like much, but for a 14 year old boy, this is an important new organizational habit.  No more pockets.

That's the first story.  The second is that I've eaten five cinnamon rolls today.  Ugh.  The story was going to be longer than that with ideas about frosting and misinterpreted recipes.  But I'm tired and the end of the story is that I've had five today.  Craving some veggies for tomorrow.