Wednesday, June 10, 2009


I love Josh Groban. Don't give up, everyone needs to be loved. Powerful words, powerful voice. Powerful emotions.

I'm one of about 10 teachers at work today, with a total of 20 students. It's graduation. Another year, and I still didn't go. I've never taught Seniors so that was my excuse last year. This year I probably do know at least several dozen of the graduates and I bet twice as many know me. I feel like a bright face in this gloomy building. Even my co-workers have asked "How can they let you go? The girl who always smiles."

That's me. Even in my pessimism I'm pretty annoyingly optimistic. Which is why I've taken the invitation to find a new job as an opportunity to give myself the promotion I was too lazy to find for myself. But it's hard to say goodbye.

I understand why women stay in abusive relationships.

Cause that is what I am. An abused employee of DCPS. They couldn't even give me walls for crying out loud. Much less a door. When 2,000 buckaroos of my personal property goes missing from my office, they shrug and say "nothing we can do about that." When my coworker is rushed to the emergency room to have staples placed in her scalp, they shrug and say "nothing we can do about that. Thanks for coming back to work the next day."

And then they decide to terminate my job but keep the woman who threatened the principal with a weapon. It's comical really. How can I not be optimistic about leaving it all behind?

I'll tell you why. Cause I'm sitting here all by my lonesome on the third floor, not a noise around and Josh Groban comes blaring into my ears. And I have to, I have to get up and go look out at my sad excuse for a classroom. I find Byron's scribbles "I love you Shantice." Shantice -- who is smart enough to be in any collegiate prep school across the country. Shantice who can't get a referral to go find out the sex of her baby.

I look into Ms Smith's room and find "RIP Mek. Queen of GHY" on her cabinet, a substitute for the wall that should separate our classroom spaces. Mek Mek . . . the pain in my rear when I tried to take on the Girl's Basketball team last year. Mek Mek, who when she died became the Queen of her hood. One of the roughest in the city. One she always tried to live above. She's memorialized as their Queen -- cause she like all the street kids died at 17. I see her smile each time I read "RIP Mek Mek, Queen of GHY," scribbled onto another part of school property.

And I can't help but think, "I wish I'd a wrote that" when the graffiti reads "Dunbar sum trash" just outside Erika's biology lab. It is sum trash.

And maybe that's why I'm not at graduation. Mr Mora and I were talking about it in the lunch room as we supervised the 20 students who showed up for class today. Mr Mora who has only been here for four months already knows. "Graduation is a joke. At least four of those students failed my class. And yet they come to me with their report cards. Someone changed their grades so they could graduate." He shrugs, "What am I suppose to do?"

1 comment:

Mom and Dad Bassett said...

Keep your head held high. Every experience can help us grow if we approach it correctly. Sounds like you're on track. Good luck on the job search.
Love, Pa

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