Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Day 6

Timothy has a miserable surly attitude. He demands letters home and certificates highlighting his good behavior if he stays on task for a few moments, but inevitably wreaks havoc during class and ends up with a note home about behavioral problems. Today as the students were lining up to go to Math Timothy decided to push Shanalle. Shanalle is a good student, a quiet child, and as soon as Timothy pushed her she threw down her bags and said "In the hall, muthafucka!"

Lukie got between them somehow and was talking to Timothy about his decision-making as I tried to get 15 excitable teens back in line. They'd gathered around eagerly to witness Timothy get his ass pummelled by a girl, which is apparently not uncommon: "Mr. G," the students told me, "Timothy got the shit kicked out of him by five girls last year. Ain't been right since, can't talk or think straight. One of them hit him with a brick."

Lots of fights today. Some of the young men are beginning to test each others' limits, and the results are often explosive. The school police officers were busy.

We proctored a writing diagnostic test. Some of the samples were rather pathetic--this is no judgment of the students, who have been poorly served by what should be the premiere educational system in the world based on available money badly prioritized--but I've frankly seen worse (albeit more grammatically correct) writing from college freshmen. One quiet giant of a kid wrote an essay about being president some day that was a stroke of genius. He had portraits of JFK and Tupac in the oval office, with fried chicken and forties on ice available 24/7. He changed the Presidential Seal to read "Thug Life 4evah." All of it was written in a delightful tongue-in-cheek style. We need a creative writing class just for Anthony.


casey said...

Get that kid to Hollywood. I'm sure he could easily pitch a more "street" version of the West Wing.

It could be called "I'm President, Motherfu*cker!" I'm thinking maybe Showtime — a mid-season replacement for "Californication," perhaps?

Nyarlathotep said...

Anthony cracks me up. He cultivates a very frightening persona--quiet, spooky glare, hunched shoulders--but when I complimented his writing sample he turned beat red and smiled. "Yeah, people say I'm a funny guy."

ladytbird74 said...

Sound like a lot of diamonds in the rough.
Keep seeing the positive and don't give up.
The students need teachers who can show they care without being patronizing.

Nyarlathotep said...

I'm still waiting for the knife- and bullet-proof vest you promised me.

ladytbird74 said...

I'm working on it! I don't know how well the vest will help if they have a knife.