Aftermath

 

Professional and fun.
Thank goodness, I wasn’t wearing this.

Friday, seventh period, screams ring out and I go running into a classroom.  Not my own.

Not a minute later, it is over and it is time to clean up the chaos.

There are lots of things to say about the forty-five seconds or so of fighting that took place that it is hard to describe the aftermath.  Shoes, earrings and weave scattered about the classroom, way too many people looking at us like were were exhibits at the zoo and the expectation that I automatically knew what to do next. I wanted to stay and comfort the senior who might have tossed her education out the door.

Instead, I gave my seventh period a quiz.

The two combatants were largely unhurt. I came out of Room 130 with a few scratches and a kick to the stomach.  One of the student’s who intervened ended up dealing with the aftereffects of a punch to the face. It was  a turbulent end to a largely uneventfully week.

IMG_0770
A peaceful classroom

The weekend was beginning to look like I needed a stiff drink and some quality time with my friend, Jim Bean. I ended up getting a nice long shower, an hour and a half drive to Lake Wales and a down home Southern dinner. There my problems didn’t have any traction and I was forced just to relax and let myself experience the here and now.

Bad things happen everyday.  Friday, two students had their emotions erupted and the lava flow took over the science classroom.  It could have been the start to a very bad weekend.  I had already burnt my hand; the fight at the end of the day just seemed like the icing on a very dry cake.

Then I was given the gift of time. Time to decompress and not think. Not think about the papers that need to be graded or the repercussions for the students involved. There was time for me to take a deep breath. There was nothing I could do for the students after I gave my statement.  Their fate is in the hands of administration.

I could be still recounting the fight, instead I am living my life.

I think I made the right choice.

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Season of Giving

For the past six years, I have had the honor of working with the students at the BETA center in Orlando. The young women I work with are amazing and it isn’t a cliche to say that that inspire me everyday.    Yes, sometimes they frustrate me.  But, they always make it worth it.   Their stories would break your heart, but those are their stories and not mine to tell.   There is a lot more to the BETA center than my school.  A lot more. They help 1,000’s of families every year in Central Florida each year.   They really do change lives.

Please consider giving or at least sharing this link with others.   BETA Center Go-Fund-Me .   These beautiful young women are trying to do what is best for their children like all of us they could use some help.

 

Momma Does

Sometimes Momma can’t be there do

what others say needs to be done

sometime she became a mother to young

or Papa walked out

or gotta brought up on charges
Or found a job three  states away

Sometimes the way the dice roll

Momma isn’t there to meet the bus

Or the check isn’t enough for

groceries and rent

Qso we eat in the car

and slept in the back street

Sometimes Momma can’t

And that’s just the way it is

But she don’t love any less

Sometimes Momma is afraid

Of the noises out side the apartment

of riding the buses every where

so she makes it a game and there’s play in the bus depot

An adventure everyday

Sometimes Momma can’t but she always does

 

No More

Sunday’s are usually my day to write blogs for the week ahead and catch up on all sorts of stuff. Sometimes I make goals for myself and write about them.  Somehow over the years, I got the idea that if I made them public would hold me more accountable to them and I would get more done.

The opposite has happened.I have gotten less done and been pretty miserable in the process.

Then while I was sitting down and doing my normal Sunday thing, procrastinate, play some silly games, read some articles on-line and do some writing.

I came across this article, 14 Amazing Psychology Facts Everyone Needs to Know, and had an epiphany. Every time, I have made a big deal about a new goal whether it is on this blog or a list of them posted on my wall at home, they haven’t happened. I put pressure on myself and all it did was make me feel like I am a failure.

I am not a failure. I just need to focus and bullying myself is not focusing.

I do have goals.

I have a goal for my next book.

I’m just not telling this time.

What do you think? Tell the wold your goals or keep them to yourself?

April Page 11

In the mix of all that life offers, it is easy to get caught up and go along for the ride. Seven hours in a math class today and my brain was real and truly fried. It crispy and crunch and best served with tarter sauce.

We all get caught up on the roller coaster of life. Sometimes it is fun. Tonight with wine in hand, I was dancing again. It wasn’t the wine, but the way that today ended that inspired the dancing. Freedom and safety cause me to start dancing. And also to sing. I don’t do enough of either these days, making a living and staying a head of the bill collector’s girl.

The spring for me is a time for balancing and balancing, a time to figure out what I need to bring into my life.  This spring, I feel the need for clarity. There are a lot of things I want and need.

Sometimes the two get confused. Sometimes, they seem like they are the same thing. Maybe they are.

Maybe by taking moments to breathe, we can figure out the difference.

April Page 5

Whether it is a cold or my sinuses, my body has been sending very direct messages. You are sick. You need to rest. Why aren’t you resting? Sleep, you need sleep.   Oh and by the way, until you give me what I want food will lose all favor. 

And it did. Well mostly, I just didn’t want to eat the veggies. Freshly steamed veggies. Warm and crispy veggies that I normally devout just lingered there while I went for second and third helpings of mashed potatoes. I was really tempted to go get a milkshake, blowing all the lovely work I have done in the past week with my diet.

My body wants sleep and rest. Not to be up and at work. It wants more than a day off. It wants less stress and more … just more. More of all the things, I like to do but don’t get a change to do because I am working all the time. I am not sure if I really want to spend the next six months working on my math certification when there are other projects and goals.

I wanted it because I thought I would be able to translate my love of math into the change I have been looking for in my life.  I wanted an easy out. No such luck. It would have been nice. Well, not really since it would have caused all sorts of other change and in the end might not have done what I wanted it to do. Secure my income base and work more on my passions, writing and gardening.  Spend more time with family and loved ones, here and in Virginia and New York as well.

I am still going to work towards the math certification. It is something I always wanted.  I gave up on being a math major in college for a couple of reasons.  The first was it got a whole lot harder than it was in high school.  I didn’t make the transition well.  I didn’t really have to study in high school and going to college, my math classes jumped up a level that I wasn’t expecting. There were lots of other pressures going on all at the same time and let myself get distracted from my course work.

I failed to ask for help until it was clear that I was way in over my head. So I got a D that first semester and the one after that. Soon a switch in majors was on the way.

The second thing that killed it for me was my instructor although kind and willing to help was that he lacked passion for subject. A grad student who was assigned to teach Freshman, he did his job, but he didn’t know how to teach. He did practice problems and reviewed with us, but there wasn’t anything engaging about the class.  Mrs. G, the veteran teacher, that I had yesterday engaged with the class.  She took time to explain and answer questions, adjusting her tone and going back and working problems.  It was really amazing to watch.

The last reason that I gave up on it was my own self-doubt. It ate and me and I allowed it to tell me that I wasn’t good enough. This has been something that has plagued me for years. For many years, I thought while I was intelligent I just didn’t have the brains to get it. Cognitively, I could tell you that there is difference between talent and skill. Skills are developed and talent may be intuitive but it takes skill to refine. Emotionally, however, I thought if I wasn’t good at something after a little bit of practice, then it wasn’t for me. I would go on to something that I was good at. Pretty silly since I never developed anything for a long time except for my writing.

I gave up on getting a degree in math many years ago for a lot of reasons. I don’t regret the choice because it led to some many other wonderful things. Still, I feel like getting my certification in math would go along way to complete something that I gave up on thinking that I just wasn’t smart enough to do it.  Turns out, I am smart enough to keep on learning.