Wednesday, December 20, 2006

If it quacks like one...

A moment in time with my little H2O-

Me: helping H2O with a math paper. We're still mastering that pesky number 3.

H2O: (smiling) "You have duck breath!"

Me: (frantically breathing into my hand, and recalling the Altoid in the car) "What does a duck's breath smell like?"

H2O: (gives a happy little sniff in my direction) "It smells like yours!"

Continues coloring glasses of water on his math sheet...

Friday, December 15, 2006

The least of these, my brethren


Sometimes, you feel like you are living in an SNL skit. Not the funny kind, but the type where it's just so long and pointless and you just are crawling out of your own bones trying to get away.

And then you change the channel. Problem solved.

So, when I compose my resignment letter, the gist of the letter will be that I cannot work for a place that perpetuates the "Christians as the elite, better than YOU" kind of BS. It's one thing to think that you know the Truth, it's an entirely different thing to exclude people based on how you thought it would all work in your head.

Ramble ramble. My new student- let's call him H2O due to some psych issues that he has surrounding water. I kid you not- this lad is obsessed and perseverates throughout the day on water. Which is really kind of ironic, that this kid is so "thirsty." You'll see why as I meander onward.

He's a smelly kid. He's got horrible teeth, and is never quite prepared for school. He is one of the kids of Michigan who are suffering the effects of the rotten economy. He's also been abandoned by his mother, and is being raised by a father who works pretty much 100% of his and his brother's waking day.

He's never been to school before, but he's being absorbed into my classroom pretty nicely. He still can only recognize one or two letters, but he's actually recognizing and WRITING his name now!

The trouble- the Powers that Be (aka the Pastor's wife, and the admin) are pretty disgusted by his existance. To them, he is the fly in their perfect little pie. How did the Pastor's Wife put it at my last meeting with them? Ah yes, that next year I would have a pared down, more "elite" group of youngsters, ones whose parents are all going to be aboard this merry ship, ones whose parents can dress their kids in appropriate uniform attire (and truthfully, we're about 90% there. The kid can't afford shoes, which these well-coiffed ladies tut-tut about, and flutter their manicures, but are they buying him some shoes?)

Stunned silence.

I did not participate in the type of training that I chose at Geneseo to work with kids who really don't need me. Don't get me wrong- I'm not the "Great White Savior." My goal is not to go spread my holy goodness to all the little poor children of the universe. However, I did not sign up for this particular brand of bull shit. I was in a classroom of H2O's last year, and we did swimmingly. My strengths and my trainings are stagnating in this class where they are not used. This job is really meant for the type of gentle, loving, soft-spoken lady who refuses to drive in the city, and has no clue what to do when a parent goes ballistic in their classroom because their family was reported to DCFS. Or squirms when a high-as-a-kite mom who was just released from jail gets in her face in the hallway between classes.

So, as I teach my students the basics, as well as Bible classes, and teach them that we believe that those who drink from the well of God will never be thirsty again, The Powers that Be are trying to finangle the expulsion of my little H2O. Who remains a very thirsty boy.

I'm leaving in June. Unless he goes. Then I go.