Sunday, April 01, 2007

From the ashes...

So it's been one year, eight months and a day since I posted anything. I'd like to say that there's been great doings in my life, like I've cured cancer or invented the longer-lasting light bulb or calorie-free alcohol. Sadly, I've simply been lazy. Gee, how surprising.

Teaching continues...still without a contract. Which really isn't as out-of-the-ordinary as you might imagine. A man once said of the high school I work in: "The only difference between this place and the Titanic is that the Titanic had a band." Wise words. Some of the things that go on in that building really boggle the mind. As usual, it's all stuff that occurs outside of the classroom. For five 42-minute chunks of my day I do the part of my job that I love. The rest of my day pretty much centers around me insulating myself from the crap I hate about my job. You keep the people you actually like around you.

I have some kids who are getting to that "Jesus, this place is FUCKED UP" realization. They come into my room during their lunch or their study hall and I can see that they're finally beginning to understand that it isn't them that's out of the norm--it's those other people. It seems like there's a few stages when it comes to this part of the maturation process.

First you think you're all screwy because you don't think like everyone else around you. Those people who are completely consumed with the surface layer of life: who's wearing what; who's "talking to" who (and what the fuck does "talking to" even mean? That has got to be the dumbest fucking slang term ever); who drank this weekend; so-and-so cheated on his girlfriend with his best friend's cousin's grandmother from Kraplakistan; all the shallow meaningless crap that small people with their small minds obsess over. There are other things in the world, people! you think to yourself. Followed by If everyone else is so interested in all this crap...why aren't I? Maybe I am screwed up...

Stage two: anger/confusion. At this point, we've come to realize that it isn't us that's screwed up. It's "them". It's always interesting to see the different reactions. Some kids get all fired up. They decide that they just want to hit those "other" people. These are the ones that get angry about it. Then there's the other reaction: confusion. These kids wonder why other people are the way they are. They question the reasons behind things like, say, racism. They don't want to beat the shit out of people; they just want to understand them on some level. Neither approach works very well.

So we wait for those kids to get to that happy place where you know you can't do shit about other people and you've got to lead the life that's best for you and the people you care about.
Some people never get to that happy place. I guess we could call this stage "acceptance". We're never going to change all the things that suck about the world. Or the things that suck about some of the people in it. But I think it's more than possible to lead a good life and leave the world a better place. If we have a world very much longer, that is. Ya never know with the no-talent ass clown currently running our country.

In looking over this post I've noticed two things. One, it's very maudlin. Two, I must be rusty because this thing is pretty poorly written.

Maybe I'll post something tomorrow that is much more chipper and full of my trademark acerbity and droll wit.


Katey said...

Um, yes. This entry collectivly describes my everyday at THS. Love it.

mineIsay said...

Believe it or not, i *still* check this blog in the hopes that you have gone back to blogging. I have gone back to blogging too. Let's see if we can keep it up. I think I was all of these people: confused, angry, and you got the benefits of the better part of crazy. Now I'm all good, and I agree - it's nice.

Jackie Lyons said...

it must be interesting working with kids who come to those thoughts/ideas/realizations every day...and every year theres a new kid (or kids). Must be interesting to witness.
You should post more so we can read up on your thoughts/wisdom on occurences in the buffalo school district or whereever the hell it is you teach.

new paltz is going well. although there arent as many hippies as anticipated...slight bummer.

We shall be in contact.


p.s. Jess is graduating college this year, would you believe it? Strange strange how life is flying by us.

p.p.s. am i hearing babies crying? whats the situation?

Anonymous said...

my life at high school in a nut shell..thanks Gallo!


Anonymous said...


I love you. I hope you're in at least a somewhat happy place.

Please be careful of what you post online. :*