Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Day 74

Lukie fell on the dance floor last Saturday night while dancing drunkenly to Prince at a party. She jumped up and continued dancing, but apparently has a concussion. She had to leave and go to the doctor's today. I hope she's ok, because she is the only teacher on the 2nd floor team the kids respect and listen to.

After she left I taught 3rd period, and those kids ate me alive. They wouldn't pay attention to the lesson, they wouldn't respond to questions, so finally I gave them their classwork and said "Obviously you're all experts, so I don't have to show you how to do this today." I told them what to do and watched them for a few minutes as they continued talking and goofing. Then I turned, wrote "Phone Calls Home" on the board, and started writing names of kids who were talking in phonetic Arabic script. After about 30 seconds Timothy shouted "Yo that's my name bitch! Why you writin' my name!? Mr. Ahmad show me that shit." I said "Why do you think I wrote your name up there?" "Cuz I'm talkin'."

Then the class got quiet. They all wanted to know if their names were on the board. "I think you can guess if your name is on the board. If you were doing your classwork quietly, then your name is not up there. Anyone who hands in their classwork today will come off the board. Everyone whose name is still on the board at the end of class will get a phone call home."

I erased three names out of 14 students by the end of class.

Then I escorted them to lunch. Yasmine, who was in a pissy mood, started shoving another 8th grade girl at just about the point of the cafeteria where Omar gets into a knife fight in The Wire. I thought "I'm too tired for this," but then saw a cocked fist and tried to surf the sudden wave of students crashing over and through the tables to watch. I got to the fighters quickly but couldn't get them apart. They had fistfulls of each others' hair weaves and wouldn't let go, so I turned my back to them and pressed them back against the wall. A 60-gallon Rubbermaid trashcan flew through the air and bounced off my head, but I kept pushing until the girls let go of each other. Then I got between them and grabbed Yasmine's upper arms. She is not big or strong, but she is wiry. She twisted and threw a punch at her quarry which missed and hit me in the eye. Then they were fighting again. I realized I was the only adult mixing it up with about 100 kids, but then Officer Black arrived, put Yasmine on the floor and sprayed mace indiscriminantly. Many of the onlookers hungry for blood got squirted and began coughing. Yasmine had two fistfulls of fake hair, she was gagging and crying on her stomach and Officer Black was standing over her with his boot on her neck. Mr. B the new Principal arrived and started doling out two-week suspensions to kids who wouldn't sit and shut up. "This is my house," he shouted. "You are guests and I am inviting you to leave."

It took twenty minutes, but we got the cafeteria under control. Walking back to class I heard kids saying things like "Yo, there the mufucka who got bashed by a trash can!" and "Bet he glad them cans is rubber!"

The holiday break cannot come quickly enough. Jesus.

1 comment:

Mysterious Glow said...

Incredible, as always. I am still shocked and astonished by your posts. Hang in there.