Guess who’s back?
Seal of Disapproval
This is the single most ‘80’s thing I’ve ever heard, ever. It’s like the theme from Duck Tales and Flashdance spent the weekend on a houseboat and nine months later an audioegg hatched and ate them both.
Here is the sound of that infant, bellowing into the night. You’re welcome.
THIS WAS A TV SPECIAL THAT I WATCHED AT LEAST 1000X, as my parents had illegally recorded it on VHS. The program also featured a rendition of “Don’t Go Breakin’ My Heart” featuring Elton John and Minnie.
Literally a HOT MESS.
everything is fat free during exam week — TRUTH.
2013 has been frightfully, manically busy. This is largely because I spend 4 days a week running a research project nee afterschool program at Emmet Elementary. Emmet is located at Madison and Central Park. The sample population we are working with are kids from the school who have been selected by teachers and staff as the most disruptive, disobedient, and otherwise challenging.
…and that they are. Most days there are fights, there are things thrown, there is outrageous language and disrespect of people and property. It is hard work. But, as I told the parents of two boys who had to be expelled for a week after numerous acts of defiant and dangerous behaviors, “I have seen greatness in these young men.” Some days, the days when staff can shower them in positive attention and re-direct them when they are losing focus they can tear through their homework with success, play cooperatively, have fun, and even be helpful to staff and classroom procedures.
But today was not that kind of day. Today, children threw books and pencils and cans of food at one another. They punched, they kicked, they cursed. And as much as we tried to contain the violence, it felt like we never could stop it from happening again.
Eventually, the day ended. I drove home. Today the ride east and north was particularly long, with Friday traffic making my long afternoon stretch on into the evening. At 7pm, as I sat on 90/94W, This American Life came on. This week and next week’s episodes are devoted to looking at life inside Harper High School, a high school south and slightly east of Emmet, and the feeder school for one of my Girl Scout 5th graders.
And as I sat trapped in the memory of a rough afternoon and the reality of traffic, I listened. I listened to stories about children all too similar to those I see, albeit mine a bit younger. I listened as (SPOILER ALERT) the school’s social worker broke down, realizing that she could not protect all of these children in the face of an unclear, but very present danger.
I could not cry with her, though my sadness was, and is, very real. I almost felt vindicated, as though having their be a professional mental health worker feeling what I feel many days made it more ok. Then I felt grateful. Grateful that This American Life would do this kind of story. Grateful that the woman let NPR air her vulnerabilities without censorship. Grateful that somehow, I wound up driving my car this day with this traffic and keeping my radio on 91.5.
My catharsis is not so complete. I still had leftover pie for dinner. I will probably still dream about these children and how to make them safer, happier, and more in control of themselves and their choices while under my supervision. But my gratitude led me to the keyboard for the first time in 2013, with the hopes that maybe, by writing it down, it might all make more sense.
Perhaps there is no sense to be made of it. Maybe, at least for now, I’ll stick with grateful.
At last, a cat meme I can get behind.