Christmas Buttons

The snowflakes were perfect.  Hexagonal crystals that looked like they were cut from a computer generated image and shrunk to just a couple millimeters landed on my sleeve.  

I made my mom what I considered to be the most heart felt gift I could ever give.  This year, my Grandma gave me her sewing my sewing machine.  She said by default I also got everything in the drawers.  That included her buttons.  My mom would want those buttons, but I wanted them, too.  I considered giving them up, just to make her happy.  BUT fortunately I came up with a better idea.  I chose to make something with them.  It’s not like she would ever use the buttons anyways.  There would never be a project good enough for use of Grandma’s buttons.  So I chose to use some of the buttons to make a picture she can frame.  I truly hope she appreciates my effort to give her something of her mom’s.  

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Education Doesn’t Matter

The young people in our world today have no sense of responsibility, no sense of follow through, and don’t care about education.

Okay, maybe not the entire world.  But in my corner… in this city…

I gave them 3 options for their final on December 6.  I sent it home with them.  A take-home final.  They could complete Option 1.  They could complete Option 2.  Or they could complete both and if they earned an 80% or better average on both of them, they would receive 200 extra credit quiz points.  I also told them to get it done early (by Friday December 15) so that I could grade it.  Then I’d give it back to them and they could do corrections.  I’d wait to calculate their average until after they did corrections, that way they would have more of a chance to earn an 80% or better.

I have 5 students who showed up today.  One decided he was just going to sit and watch movies on his laptop so I sent him to his coach and said, “Go explain to your coach why you’re failing my class.”

Another wrote answers like,

“I already did that on number 12.”

“See number 13.”

“I don’t think I was here that day.”

I honestly don’t understand the teachers that claim they have a “meaningful” job.  I have 4 students who have skipped class the last 3 weeks, plus the 2 mentioned above.  That’s 6 of 14 idiots.  I have had a total of 5 turn in some form of final (remember they have had it for 13 days).

Can I have a new job for Christmas?

A Teacher’s Last 2 Days

There are 2 days of school until break… Today and tomorrow.  But I’m losing my mind.

One of my students ran away, but managed to come up to the building and cause a disturbance this morning and then take off.  Police are searching.

One of my freshman may or may not be pregnant.  She doesn’t know.  Unfortunately, she is low functioning.  Can barely read.  Unfortunately, there is nothing I can do to get her medically assessed until we return to school because no doctors and no health department workers will be in our building this week.

A third student reported incidents of sexual favors taking place in the building during the school day.

Since I’m feeling overwhelmed, I thought I’d write about it here.  The number of dramatic incidents among our teenagers is overwhelming.  In most cases, my hands are completely tied.  As a teacher, I can’t do a thing about it.  I can’t make a difference.  I can listen.  I can help them make police reports.  I can get them a doctor’s appointment or sign them up for mental health services.  That’s the extent of my influence.  I am supposed to be a teacher.  But honestly, there isn’t much educating going on around here right now.  Instead of giving finals, most teachers are having parties or “free days” this week.  These are high school students!  However the staff here is more concerned about being involved in the drama and making friends with the students than they are about actually teaching these kids and preparing them for the real world.

I truly need a change.

Wordle 182

Prompt found here:

What glitch in your thinking allows you to sympathize with people who desire to engage in unspeakable acts?

How could their saudade be so extravagant that you cast away all moral values, catering to their desires?

You dip into the ether of teenage juvenescence; abducting childhood innocence.

You dress her in coruscant fishnet tights, short tulip skirt, and skin-tight tank-top then paint her face with costume make-ups that won’t wear off.

Her short life of 15 years is suddenly devoid of meaning and purpose.

After late nights in cheap hotels and roach-infested abandoned properties, she is inclined to skip school.

Her teachers are no-longer lenient and understanding, believing she is nothing more than a malfunction on the fast-tract to dopping out.

She hides the reality behind her drug-dealing boyfriend.

What would they think if they knew the implications of her jejunity were wrong?

Would they band together to hunt you down in the streets like a rabid dog?

Sadly, I don’t think so.

This modern world accepts glitches like you.

Inclined to look away, ignoring the horrors of their own backyard.

A lot of reminders this week.  Things popping up that remind me of my love affair.  Can’t believe it has been 2 years.  I suppose I will always wonder what happened.  I pray he is alive.  I can’t even imagine what luge is like where he is.  But it hurts less to imagine survival mode than the alternative.  I’ve had a secret wish once or twice that you’d be waiting for me at my door when I got home from work.  But then I realize you have family and other options. 

I’m preparing to let go.  I don’t typically hold on so long.  But you were different.  I loved in a way I never had before… And in a way I imagine I never will again.  Heartbreaking really.  Exept my heart already broke…. So it can’t get much worse.

0548 Saturday Morning

548 am.

The bus chases its shadow down the highway.  But the sun has failed to rise and in the darkness I am unsure what light source casts the shadow. We race; neck and neck down the highway at 65 miles per hour, slower than the 75 mph posted speed limit.  100 years ago people couldn’t imagine travelimg at 65 mph.  Yetby today’s standard, such velocity is considered slow.    The road stretches ahead of us with twin pairs of tail lights moving further ahead like the taunting red eyes of a bully who always beats you to thr front of the line. These modern vehicles stare at you from the rear end with tail lights of all shapes and sizes – like jack-o-lantern eyes.  Back when I was a kid, they were all plain rectangles. 

How did we get here? 2017 on a dying planet.  It lashes out at us with hurricanes, wildfires, and earthquakes – trying to preserve itself.  Maybe if we didn’t have such a greedy need for speed… Maybe we would have made more conscientious choices in the best interests of the only planet we have. Maybe if we advanced our communication before our speed, we would have prevented the oil companies from killing the electric car.  Maybe then our planet wouldn’t be fighting back against us because we are trying to kill it.