Often as I get into my school year, I feel like I am living in a fever dream.
This week as Joe Paterno's greatness suddenly became a hazy sadness, Rick Perry forget one of three things he had to remember, a kid with a fedora walked out of our school, because his mental dysfunction had enough clarity to know that he might be mistreated, were he to be locked away in an alternative setting. Dozens went to various meetings to do with basketball, while a grand total of 3 out of 500 showed up for a senior student transitional meeting. A brave battle with cancer begin for a female senior, with word coming to me of a freshmen with bi-polar tendencies stealing a car and ending up in jail, in part, because he couldn't follow rules about simply going to classes all day.
The spectacle that is a school setting can startle, can thrill, can stun into silence, and it can bring about a numbness that only be dispelled by hysterical laughter over a dark, twisted remark or a trip to Sonic for a Route 44. The sheer wonder of a week like this one is not in the depth of tragedy or the absurdity of behavior or even the gut-wrenching pain, but it is that it is simply an ordinary week that will be matched or topped in a later time in a different setting.
It turned 11-11 on 11-11-11 a few minutes ago, and I was in a lengthy conversation with a student, whose teacher said he pulled out a newspaper to read in the midst of receiving instruction. He was outraged, miffed and defensive. The moment passed, and I didn't notice anything special about it, until an e-mail went out acknowledging it. Right after that, I received an e-mail that another student under my care was dealing with impending pregnancy. I wonder if she noticed anything significant about this date.
Yesterday, I had a conversation with a student about her successes toward graduating. Today, she was removed from our campus for not living in the district or having it confirmed appropriately. Close to 15 students that we have worked feverishly with on our campus have thrown their hands up and headed to a nearby district's alternative program, as we don't have one available. They will graduate under a different umbrella, I hope.
Circular reasoning when pointing out issues with freshmen, confident direction shown by seniors are all part of the day, and then sometimes the opposite is true. Up is down, white is black.
Then, the bell rings, I almost hit two students making out just outside a door in a alcove with it, and I get dirty looks, as I head for my car, and I can take the name tag off, unclasp the watch, and I feel sanity restore in my tired brain, as I cross the bridge for the ride home. I sometimes hang my head out the window and let the breeze soothe me. Then, it turns biting cold or I start to sweat. It varies, but it is the same.