Saturday, October 26, 2002

Nothing like heartening emails/ real letters in life. My wonderful friend Deanna wrote me a letter of encouragement at JUST the right time. Not that I've been weepy for the last few days, but I read the letter again. Some people think I'm independent, others know how much I really need good people in my life.

I just discovered that I'm a blogdaddy! E-cigars, anyone? My blogdaddy is my roommate Sparky, and now my friend Jen W just started a blog. I think she shows promise. I guess this makes Sparky a blog grandpa. I don't want to know where the gray hairs are.
Nothing like a sexual assault charge at the school to reaffirm my feelings of worth and success in my new profession. Last Wednesday, I was walking through the hallways between 8th period and home room. All teachers are supposed to do this, as it helps maintain control when there are no security guards. I regularly am in the hallways, telling kids to take off their caps, put away the walkmans, stop running, stop choking the next student, stop screaming obscenities, etc.

So back to Wednesday. This one girl (alternatively known as a spawn of Satan) is screaming obscenities at a girl another thirty feet away. I tell her to stop using language like that, to which she responds "fuck you, you fucking faggot." Lovely. Just what I need at the end of a day filled with textbook examples of failing at teaching.

I tell this wonderful representative of youth to follow me to the dean. This time I receive a blast of "fuck off, you fucking motherfucking faggot." I'm not particularly pleased by this outburst or by the contradiction in phrases. She starts to walk off, I reach out and grab at the top of her books, as you must NEVER touch a student. She lunges at me, shrieking and cursing, striking me across the chest. This of course is in a crowded hallway with every other teacher hiding behind their doors. She had dropped a pen and a hairclip, which I futilely held in some kind of pathetic hostage situation. One more demand to go to the dean, one more response of "fuck you, they're only worth a fucking dollar." In my mind, the only thing worth a dollar is maybe her value to future society, but that is neither here nor there.

Cue forward to Thursday, when I receive a call from the principal's office. I am informed that the spawn has filed charges against me, claiming that I humped her leg in this altercation. One of her cronies has signed a witness statement affirming the accusation, and there were no teacher witnesses to take my side. In between my stomach somersaults, my dean explains that if the parents file charges, I will be required to go to the local police precinct and be booked. I will be suspended pending the investigation. If the investigation goes in favor of the spawn, I would be registered as a sexual offender for the rest of my life. The parents will come in on Friday morning, try not to let this whole thing bother you too much, have a nice night, lalalalala.

I would say that Thursday evening was in the top three worst nights for me, EVER. No sleep, crying like some stupid child, vindictive thoughts towards this vicious liar, regret over the choice to move here to help kids, everything. I go in to school on Friday a zombie, no real lesson plans prepared, just prepared for the worst. Parents arrive 2nd period, I meet with them. My administration really supported me, never questioned if it were true, because they know me. They were talking with the parents for an hour before I even went into the room. I appreciated that.The parents are not pressing charges, they know their daughter lies, she has a rap sheet. I get to go back to teaching my classes, the student gets to go back to the hallways.

Do I stay with teaching? My ambitions to help kids never included the possibility of having my life ruined by a deceitful brat. It became crystal clear to me on Thursday that if I try to make a difference, I take the very possible risk of seeing my own life destroyed. Not that I have much of a life right now, mind you, but I do look towards the future occasionally. Kids will gossip about this, affecting the rapport I have built up with certain kids. This goes on my file, and what happens if another kid decides to do this? They'll look back, see this report, and think that they have a serial pervert. Once my name is cleared, I really have to make some decisions. I'm really, really tired and down this weekend. I also ran out of coffee.

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

I've been waking up every morning to the NPR station here in NYC, and I'm almost hoping that I'm the next sniper target, as I am so tired of hearing about it. People are shot every day in both NY and DC, and nobody comments on it. If you're a minority or poor person, you aren't going to make the headlines. If you're driving around in your SUV and come from European stock, THEN it's news. These are senseless deaths, but so is the death of one of the Teaching Fellows in Queens. Apparently he was struck down by a vehicle, and the only notice was in the Fellows email. Somehow I bet his wife and newborn daughter feel that his death is more significant, even if it isn't discussed every hour on the hour.

Monday, October 21, 2002

I have nothing really to post. I just don't want to write my paper for my university class. I don't procrastinate, but I have thawed the refrigerator, moved furniture, and I suddenly have the urge to vacuum the rugs. Backwards that's 'muucav'.