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Friday, June 20, 2008

"Hey Jason...Monkeys."

The last week or so has been simply a nightmare. It's been nonstop garbage in the classroom which netted me some fantastic bruises and what I'm sure will be permanent tooth imprints on my forearms. The tension between the kids in my classroom has mounted, reaching ridiculous heights to the point where they regularly throw around racial epithets and threaten to kick each other's asses. They're constantly yelling things like, "Do you want a piece of me motherfucker?" It's also getting a class (pardon the unintentional pun) now that a few of them have discovered the joys of making sexual comments. These kids know things at the age of 13 that I didn't learn until I was...well I learned it all from them.

In that vein, one of the students decided it would be a great idea to drop his pants in the middle of the classroom. I was thankful that he was wearing regular shorts underneath until he turned his back to me and dropped those as well. Suddenly his skinny little naked butt was shuffling around the classroom. I say shuffling because his trousers were still around his ankles while he made sure everyone got a good clear shot of his rear end. Then my cop boy ran up to me and yelled, "He pulled down his pants! I'm gonna do it too! I got a big white ass!" Then smacked his ass for emphasis and ran away. At which point, the remaining boy in the class chimed in and said, "I really do have a half white, half black ass. I checked."

Of course, racial epithets are only effective when used appropriately. When a small child comes up to you in all your preppy white person glory and calls you a "nigger"...well it loses a little bit of its sting as you try to decide whether or not to laugh, or whether or not to explain exactly why it is that "nigger" is not appropriate (but "honkey" or "cracker" would have worked much better). It's even more difficult to control your laughter when a student points to a piece of paper and says, "See this? It's a white bitch. That's what you are." The connection made between the white of the paper and the white of my assistant's skin was fantastic, however inappropriate it may have been. And finally, the capper- "What the fuck is wrong with you? You white trash grrr?"

Today after taking the kids to the mall we were at a loss as to how to keep them occupied for that final, torturous hour when they all lose their little tiny minds no matter how hard we try. Salvation came in an unlikely form when I suggested to the little girl who chewed my arms into beef jerky that she be the teacher and get some work for the staff to do since we had five adults in the room and no one had a clue what to do (it was Friday afternoon. You can't expect much.). We all sat down quietly while she passed out coloring pages and crayons but we immediately started giving each other the, eye- daring one another to do something crazy. So the crayons started flying. We began teasing each other, pinching, slapping, throwing things on the floor. Ryan #1 wound up in a restraint five seconds into playing our little game and our little girl, with the help of one of the boys, dragged Ryan to "time out", or rather the corner near the door to the classroom. Then Ryan #2 began bolting out the door every time the little girl's back was turned which is exactly what she does to us! Ryan #1 ate a crayon. Jen pitched a hissy fit and left the room. I flipped a chair and rolled around on the floor. Ryan #1 hit Ryan #2 with a flip flop. And I cried when I didn't get a sticker. Our little girl took me to time out and while I was rolling around on the floor, imitating her time out shenanigans, she reached down...and took my shoes away from me! Then she slammed the door shut and told me I wasn't ready to talk! Finally I sat against the back wall after yelling and punching the padded walls. I had a teddybear with me and I made it wave at the closed circuit safety camera in the TO room since I knew she was watching the monitor in the hall. She finally let me out and I never did get my sticker...

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