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Daily School Journal Day 14 (PM)

by admin on September 8th, 2003

Woe Mondays suck like Fridays suck. Kids for whatever reason think that they don’t have to do anything. 1st and 3rd periods are o.k. My 2nd and 4th classes are just awful.
I had a student turn in his work after writing very little, “I didn’t see the movie”

“Yes you did, you were here all three days, and you turned in some notes.”

“I did?”

How does someone lose track of three days, and do work, and not remember. The thing is, they don’t want to do any of the work, so they look for every excuse they can think of, or not think of.

There’s a kid in my 4th period, who does some work, but I swear he thinks he’s Jay Z.
He’s got the whole Rocca Wear suit on, the fubu crap.

“I was like yeeeh foo’ J.W. Thas’ mah boy. Fool’s kept like I’ma beet hiz ass’ foo’ I was like, Yeeeah J.W. He’s mah boyee. An I took J.W. an we was out, foo’ straight out’ there was lik’ a hundred of them foo’s all tryin’ git crazy n’ shit.”

It went on, into a lengthy story of how this kid and his friend J. W. (whose name has been changed to protect his identity) ran off, and hid in some forest, and J.W.’s window got “bust out” and how crazy it was. I just knew, and felt in my heart that J.W. was indeed his boy, and that there was a lot of love going around.

First period the conversations turned a little hot

“Dude I maced myself in the face, it ain’t that bad”

Me: “Why did you mace yourself in the face?”

“Some dude bet me I wouldn’t, so I did. I was all (makes macing movement) then I fell on the ground and puked”

“Dude that sucks, Habaneras are hella hot too, they’ll f**k you up”

“Dude I put Habaneras in my eyes.”

I didn’t really get into the whole logic of putting scorching hot peppers in your eyes, but it had to be a good reason.

The conversation somehow revolved into eating spicy things.

“Dude I like Tabasco. That’s good shit.”

“Tabasco on Eggs, Tabasco on Ramen.”

“Hella Tabasco on ramen.”

I can’t really say anything; I mean they out do themselves almost daily. I thought for sure rattlesnakes in the coffee table had to be a classic, but habaneras in your eyes… priceless.

They were arguing over rap music vs. hard core metal. The justification by one man for listening to hard-core music was; “The music I listen to is all about me releasing my anger and shit. Going to a concert and goin’ fu**in’ nuts and shit.”

So that was our minimum day schedule. I always laugh at the name “minimum day”; all our kids ever do is the minimum.

The faculty meeting was short and sweet. This is always good. A faculty meeting gone bad can quickly ruin your day. I have a whole slew of new movie paper quotes to go through, so hopefully tomorrow, those will appear.

I told myself this weekend I was going to think of how I would change a school of this type if I were an administrator. I have a few ideas.
1) Take the word High School off of the friggin’ name. This is not a high school, don’t fool people. Put Alternative School. School for the troubled. Something else.

2) Don’t skimp on the discipline. Discipline needs to be tougher here. Rules need to be changed here. Teachers need to have more power to say and do things here than at normal schools. I’m not saying hey let me have a whip so I can beat them. But I need to be able to be a little harsher in my criticisms of students.

3) Group kids by ability. None of this kids with 5th grade reading abilities in class with 3rd grade reading levels, with high school kids.

4) Uniforms-Hey if I am in charge- uniforms. These kids make bad examples of themselves as individuals; they shouldn’t be allowed to anymore.
Uniforms would really take away a lot of that ‘need to look outlandish’ feeling our kids have.

5) Physical Training daily. These kids need huge amounts of structure. The U.S. has horrible amounts of people who are out of shape. It’s well documented. SO why not force these kids to get into shape with daily exercise?

6) No tolerance for smoking cigarettes on campus. This is ridiculous. Have fun telling me we’re a real high school, and looking out my window and seeing 50 kids smoking just off campus. I’m sure there is a law somewhere we’re breaking.

7) Counseling mandatory for kids, in groups where they can self critique each other, and here it from teachers and experts. Other schools have this type of “no-holds” barred type of meetings and they seem to work. Everything here is way too sugar coated.

Well that is enough for now. I would of course make schools like this more funded, etc. But for now this is o.k.

It’s funny going to high school. I was always afraid of these types of kids, and in coming here my first year I was afraid of them too. Really in their defense they aren’t that tough. They mostly just talk a lot of crap, look tough. I wish I had some sort of passion for this type of kid, I just don’t. I don’t particularly love the subject matter. I don’t hate it, but it’s not something I feel so strongly about I want to teach others. It’s like I am faking it here. I know there is some truth to the grass is always greener philosophy, but it’s got to be considering my circumstances. Not all the kids here are terrible, only about 75%. This school serves a purpose for some types of student, and I guess for some types of teacher. It’s just not me. I don’t have the make-up to make it my ideal career. I have certain characteristics that lend themselves to this type of environment, like patience, and a sense of humor, but those don’t make me like it, or good at it, they just keep me from going insane.

This job does make you realize how much life changes when you no longer can make decisions on your own wants and needs. Life becomes something where you have to make decisions based on your family first, which sometimes means you suffer. Like I tell people all the time, if I’m not married with children, no way am I working here. I’d substitute first. I guess I hope there is a reason for everything. I always think there is something to learn from this whole ordeal. Maybe I need to learn to appreciate a good job when I finally get one, or to deal with tough kids better, so when I get in a room of regular high school students, I don’t neglect, or get intimidated by this type of kid. I don’t know, it’s an answer I’m still looking for, but someday it’ll be clear, and I’m sure I’ll be thankful for having gone through this. Hella.

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