Wednesday, September 22, 2004

thank you, Shirley

So I got to school early today and put the desks back into the circle. I just can't do the rows. Shirley was right. It would be a punishment to the whole class.
So here's what I did. I wouldn't let the problem boy in the class until I talked with him. (I was a lion!) I told him this is MY class and that the only way I would allow him to walk through my door was if he agreed to sit where I say and stay quiet and calm. My way or the highway. It was the right thing to do. He took a seat where I told him to and he worked the whole period. The class was calm, focused, relatively quiet, and it was a good day. I told them we would redo yesterday, and that's what we did. We redid yesterday.
But I did prepare myself. I wore my John Lennon shirt, which gives me a feeling of good power, and I spoke with a couple of teachers about how to have a student removed from a class, just so I could be ready if he went off on me during class. Which was a real possibility. But which he didn't. However, I was ready. Dressed and ready.
And can you believe it, kids at Douglass don't know John Lennon or even the Beatles!!! I turned my back to them and let them read the lyrics to "Imagine" printed on the back of my shirt, and one of my students said that was nice.
I forgot to mention that yesterday a boy came in my class (the door wasn't locked) and looked at some papers then looked up at me and said, "Are you Ms Plesh?" and I said yes and he said,"They told me downstairs to tell you to pack up your shit and go. You're fired." And he walked out. So I started packing my shit, and I think it scared my students. When I realized that I told them I was kidding. I really have to be careful about my joking around. Apparently, I'm too serious a joker. Anyway, I ran into that boy later and realized it was just him clowning around, and he was actually a very warm boy. No malice intended whatsoever. Just a joke. But what a day for such a joke!
The tall girl is back from suspension but seems to have forgotten me, as have all the hallwalkers. They're leaving me alone. I miss them.
Today we were reading from Thoreau's journals about living deliberately in the woods. When we got to "simplicity simplicity simplicity," I, of course, had to define simplicity, after which we talked about living simple lives and one girl said the ultimate simplicity would be to sit on your sofa and wait for your check to come in. And while that's on the surface appalling, it's also true, though doesn't touch, of course, on Thoreau's intent. It really gave us something to talk about. It was a great discussion. Another girl said it would be boring to be alone all the time. (They keep setting me up with these great scenarios for discussion) and we discussed that too. It was so cool. Good old Thoreau.
I spoke with Tim. He's staying temporarily in an apartment near the Bastille. Today he took an all day walk. Around Paris. France. By the way, another thing about yesterday is one of the girls who rose up against me complained about me (while I was standing there) treating her like she was my kid, and she said something about how she's not in France. I'd told them about Tim. I thought they'd like to know something about what I was experiencing in my life, and about my son, but I think they realize that my son is in Paris and they're not and they have no possible means to go.
Or so they think. The school year is young...

Disposed of: a cd player (brought to school) and a few cd's.

We wrote about God today.

Melanie Anne Plesh


Blogger dancingspirit said...

Melanie you are TRULY an inspiration......Go GIRL!!!

4:08 AM  
Blogger Makenzi said...

This, most of all, makes me miss you more than words can say. Makes me want to see where you live. If I could be invisible I'd force my way into your classroom. Be a wallfly. And watch. I am so grateful for you, for who you are to me. It's a little crazy, Melanie Anne Plesh, how much I miss you and wish you the best of the best of the imperfect best. And one of these days, I'm going to stop being all talk and bring you that drink I promised so long ago.

I'm glad for Tim, that his adventures are ongoing, that he is well. Life is moving. It feels nice.

<3 <3 <3

8:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your jokes are as real as you are. It takes an iron gut to just pack up your stuff and walk out - You made a statement there and the way your students reacted just showed how much they truly appreciate you. Your are loved there, even if you are still learning to decode their langauge of expressing it! Keep on keeping yourself real - they will warm up.

10:56 PM  

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