Wednesday, February 01, 2006

wherefore art thou?

The sun was hard this morning. I mean hard bright yellow. Stunning in its intensity. It occurs on the right side of my consciousness, rising up from the lake as I travel north. It blinds me as it illuminates me.
I made it to school before the first bell of the day. This is the first day in the twelve days so far this has happened. Usually I straggle in a moment after the students have arrived, during the principal's morning announcements. I am not proud of this. It is just a fact so far. A year ago I was riding my bicycle to school, leaving the house at 8, locking my bike up to the fence between Douglass and Charmaine Neville's house at 8:15.
Today my senior students wrote a second first draft and tomorrow I will pass back to them everything they've written so far in these twelve days. They will then choose one of their writings that has heat and revise it. I'm shocked at how able they are, and willing, and interested, and all so immediately. There has been little need for me to woo them, though I continue to express my energy toward that. I think they're hungry to be invited to think. In first period I, off the cuff, gave the guy who played Blackbird for us an opportunity to get credit for a 25 point first draft, without having to write it, if he would only play his guitar one whole hour for us, for our inspiration. The inspiration for this idea came because he came in twenty minutes before our period ended this morning, and he took his guitar out and played, and he's so good. I would require silence in the class and we could use him to direct us. Unwittingly.
I brought boxes of kleenex to all the classes I float into today and was surprised to note that all the classes already had tissue. At Douglass almost no teachers had tissue. And neither did the bathrooms. No toilet tissue. So at Douglass I kept a big stock of tissue for the children. I also kept a big bottle of lotion for when they were ashy, and hand cleaner for when they felt dirty. Kids I didn't even know came to my class for the stuff all day long.
I intervened in a semi-fight yesterday. The only part I saw was a big blond older boy crossing the gym and punching a brunette freshman from behind. I held the blond by the elbow then ran out for an administrator, who arrived immediately, and the situation was contained.
We had super salad/baked potatoes on the hot lunch side and hot dogs on the other side. I chose the hot dog but got a little chili from the hot lunch line to add to it, even though it was outside the rules. Afterwards, I served my duty, which is to keep un-officially sanctioned students out of a certain hall. I'm not very good at it. I tend to believe everybody who walks through with an explanation. And the truth be told, they're usually telling the truth. I can usually feel it.
We're watching the Zefferelli rendering of Romeo and Juliet in my freshman classes right now. This perhaps explains my romantic attitude.


Blogger Laura(southernxyl) said...

I remember visiting my daughter's etymology class during her high school open house one year. It was a terrific class, very useful to her. The teacher absolutely loves teenagers and pulls creativity out of them. One of her students played his guitar and sang a song to us that he had written about

He was breaking the word down, I guess. It was so funny and cool.

9:36 PM  
Blogger Marsha said...

I love that Zeffirelli version, and my kids do, too. Good to hear you being romantic again, floaty and more Melanie-y. Sometimes staring into a candle gives us more light than we realize. :)

9:56 PM  

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