Wednesday, October 11, 2006

two worlds

This week we are giving our 9 week exams.
I don't know where to start so I'm just going to start. I've been here for 9 weeks now. I'm teaching the polar opposite of what I was teaching a year and a half ago. I'm teaching the gifted now. My heart is pulled. Douglass has reopened in its building. Every day it seems there's a story in the newspaper about the problems the schools that are opening are facing. Kids at John Mac are protesting the poor conditions and being interviewed on television. No toilet paper. No doors on toilet stalls. No books. No teachers. That's the one that gets me and that's why my heart is pulled. I'm a teacher and I was their teacher. Yesterday in the paper there was an article about how many teachers have quit and how many they still need, about how someone said that there are actually classes of 100 students and the authority says no, that's not true, that they're running about 40 in a class. 40. Our governor spent some time in an elementary school which is one of the model schools. Someone interviewed her and asked her why she wasn't touring the schools with problems and she said she's meeting with people who know what those conditions are like, but I know, and there's no doubt about it, just like really seeing what Katrina did to New Orleans, you have to see it with your own eyes. Second hand accounts, pictures, like that, cannot possibly express the devastation. I was so angry when I saw her on television all I could do was cry.
At least there's a little noise.

17 Comments:

Blogger Nancy McKeand said...

I have been thinking a lot about you lately for this very reason. It has to be hard.

I had the same thought about Blanco. She needed to see the "bad" schools, not the good ones. But the photo ops are so much better in the good schools. The ones with teachers and books and fans that don't fall out of the ceiling.

1:59 PM  
Anonymous Clay said...

Melanie,

I tried to email your bellsouth account and it bounced.

Do you have a new email address?

Please email me. I'll be in Covington in early December for Tara's graduation.

2:36 PM  
Anonymous Clay said...

Forgot to leave my email:

MrAnalogy at Gmail d0t com

2:38 PM  
Anonymous xxfunxfunxx said...

No teachers? That's horrible. They shouldn't be deprived of an education through no fault of their own, especially after losing so many other things. I guess that's how it works out sometimes. It just feels like once one thing falls, it trips everything else down along with it, kind of like a domino effect.

If there's anything your students at MHS can do, let them know; they'll probably want to.

5:21 PM  
Anonymous Avery said...

For what it's worth, we're glad that you're at MHS. I know that they might need you in New Orleans but you're the best English teacher I've ever had.

9:23 PM  
Blogger Michael Patrick Leahy said...

You teach in a public school then ?

In the course of doing research on my novel of antebellum and Civil War New Orleans, I ran across the story of the Institute Catholique, the first free school for blacks. It was located on Dauphine St., and operated from 1848 until 1915, when a hurricane destroyed the building. Rebuilt by Sister Drexel as the Holy Redeemer Elementary School, it operated until 1993, when it shut down. It was replaced by Bishop Perry Middle School, which shut down this summer, another casualty of Katrina.

I have been drawn to the idea of reconstituting a Classical Christian School at that location. Any traction down there for such a concept ?

9:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

C'mon Ms.Plesh! It's time for a 2007 post!

6:16 PM  
Blogger em said...

i don't know if you ever check in with your blog anymore. i have spent this entire day reading it and trying to soak it all in. two days ago i put in my notice at my current job and i will begin my new career as a middle school math teacher in the fall of 2007. i am very excited and more than a little terrified. your blog has reminded me, however, that i made the right decision. new orleans is home and probably always will be - perhaps i'll see you around.

4:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ms. Plesh, have you ever tried googling yourself? It seems you've moved a lot of people. But you don't act like it. I mean, you're never walking around like "Ah, yes, I'm such a good person." Which makes me think that you don't think you're extraordinary. Like... like you think people are supposed to be inspiring and consoling, and that you're not overly special, you're just doing the "normal" thing. Well, I don't know if you are or not, but you at least should be right.

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