Today, I was me. I was who I am made to be.
My heart was thumping, and I ruled the world. Blame it on the new hair cut.
Vignette 1 from my day:
I am handing out students grades one by one.
Some students, I am a total hard ass when I call them to my desk. Until I get to the one. The one who walks around like a dead man and pretends to sleep everyday. “Are you a dead man?” I ask. “Is there a pulse?” He sleeps. I try everything. He sleeps. He didn’t turn anything in all six weeks. On Monday, when I gave my weekly quiz I saw the basketball and track coach walking by. I ask Coach to take this dead man out of class, “I don’t care if he finishes his quiz or not… just be with him.”
He scores an 80% on the quiz. That’s a win. With our without Coach I don’t mind.
Then, today I am calling kids up one by one. I call him last. Dead man walks up with his head down. No pulse. He expects the berage of critique. Disapproval. One girl, who knows the whole family says, “O his mamma don’t play, she’ll beat his ass for his low grades.”
And I see it in his eyes.., he’s been beat and beat and beat and he’s never good enough.
I change my tune.
I hand him a piece of chocolate. Dead man’s eye’s light up. He’s resurrecting before me. Grace. The gospel in a piece of chocolate. This isn’t what you deserve, but this is what you are getting.
I tell him how proud I am of Monday’s quiz. I say, “So everyone’s always telling you that you arent’ good enough, huh? Well don’t worry, I am going to wipe away all these zeroes and on Tuesday afternoon me and you are going to work together and get this grade up together. We’ll make up every grade together.”
Fist pound. The kids tell me he’s amazing at video games. I sit him next to two overachieving girls who will ride him and stay on his case all year.
Vignette 2 from my day:
Two ESOL students knock on my door 1st period. Sweet, hard working, wonderful girls. They say, “We are sorry, Mrs Johnson” I don’t know what for. They explain they skipped my class yesterday to put make up on to cover her bruises. Her mom punched her in the face. She’s black and blue. Now, beige smears cover it up. They are now sobbing. They have to go to ISS because they skipped my class and were caught,
“You didn’t do anything wrong. You SHOULD have skipped my class. You are a good friend to help her with the make up. It’s okay. Y’all are not staying in ISS.”
I hug them. I tell them I’ll get them out. They are good friends. They did nothing wrong.
We drank Chardonnay and played Bingo. I was elated because I was out on the town. With people I didn’t know, getting to know them. We were out of this introvert world of grilled meat and Netflix. I don’t thrive in introvert world. Tonight, I was thriving. Rocking and rolling and being me.
Then, tonight, at Boybutante Bingo, I win Will Walton’s new book and I know it’s a smile, a sign, a confirmation.
Yes, I am being me. I am being who only I can be. I am trusted here. I tear down walls and build bridges with a laugh, a smile and a dash of authencity.
And I come home to my sweet husband and we steal a moment away from CFA exam books and I just know.
Yep, I am living folks, I am living.