Tuesday, September 07, 2004

paper is weak/paper is strong

The first thing I did this morning was duct tape Sunday's newspaper over the inside (obviously) of the entire glass pane span of my primary classroom door. That and being obsessive about keeping my door locked worked to keep out the hallwalkers. I did have one random knock (a minor occurrence given the number of, so to say, legitimate knocks I receive regularly), but there was no real hoorah, which lent to a relatively quiet day.
However, during my planning period, grading my students' first tests, when I thought it was safe to leave my door open, I heard a blistering noise in the hall and went out to investigate and found my duct taped newspaper ripped off my door and lying in the middle of the hall. It was such a random act of meanness. The only reason I had the paper up was because I'm trying to secure a space for my students and me to be ourselves, and this stranger made a statement, which was, you're going to have to try harder. I secretly cursed him while I ranted out loud and taped yet more paper, this time a piece of legal sized typing paper into each of the 15 individual panes, the edges reinforced with more tape, and then I verified from the outside of the door, seeing as a hallwalker would, that nothing could be seen through any minute space I might have left.
I'm 51 years old.
I don't know who today's boundary destroyer was, but it wasn't the tall girl. She didn't come to my classroom today. Had she done it, it wouldn't have been a random act of meanness.

Disposed of: a sleeveless turtleneck sweater that has never made sense to me.

The writing word today was "forward."

Melanie Plesh


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