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April 3, 2013
I forgot how it feels to wake up at 4:30 a.m. when it's still dark and panic that I have to be an adult in 2.5 hours.

After living in Washington for the last 9 months, I forgot how it feels to wake up at 4:30 a.m. when it’s still dark and panic that I have to be an adult in 2.5 hours. Insomnia can be beautiful, but not this way.

This morning during advisory a kid turned the lights out in the art room. It had been raining overnight and through the morning in New Orleans and was still overcast, and when the lights went out it went pitch black and I found myself in a room of 15 16-year-olds who don’t believe in ratting on each other and I became afraid for my life for enough seconds that I reevaluated my choice to visit the advisory I visit every morning.

During my reading intervention class I asked the kids to read this word.


Try again. Look at the first part of the word. Not BRIDGE-room. BRIDE-groom. Say it with me? 


Good. Does anyone know what a bridegroom is?

A bride and a groom! Ms. Summers! That’s a he-she!

No, Joseph, it’s not a he-she, although it could be. That’s a topic for another day.

Yesterday, another boy was using a stapler as a faux hand-gun. Shooting everyone from the corner of the room. Backed up in the corner, and picking off every kid in the room with a stapler. Disturbing. And I don’t know what to do about it because that’s what happens at home, and even if we pretend that education and home aren’t completely separate, we’re lying to ourselves. Plus I don’t know how to be a 15-year-old boy.

Three students had a full on screaming match in my room today about words in the provide family. Provision. Providing. I stopped them mid-fight, told them how proud I was of them that they were fired up about school, and instructed them to continue. Work it out.

I re-met a kid at school this year that I had as a student 2 1/2 years ago in summer school when I first taught. Back then he free-styled a rap about my coffee breath and how ugly I was, and I distinctly remember thinking that he must really like me, and that he must really want me to pay attention to him. He was little and rough, and when I gave him one-on-one attention he lit up like a stadium.

Now I see him every day. And he’s much bigger and still rough. When I recognized him, I reminded him about his rap (no recollection) and told him how funny I thought he was. He was just a little kid then, in summer school for 6th grade, but I was a brand new teacher with less than 10 classroom teaching hours. He affected me so much, but he didn’t even remember my coffee breath. (I told the story to his sister, who told me I do, in fact, have coffee breath, but it’s no big deal. It’s not that bad.) Every time I see him, he brings back that memory of being brand new in a scary situation.

Monday he was having a super rough day. I asked him if he had gotten a hug that day. No, of course not. So I gave him one. And then we made a deal that we share 3 hugs per day. Everyday. I pretend that the hugs are for him. But just as much they’re for me.

One Comment leave one →
  1. kmrobb1 permalink
    April 8, 2013 1:38 pm

    it’s monday!! have you been giving/getting your hugs?!!!

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