The craziest things happen in the place I call “work.” It feels a bit more like slavery than I would have imagined. Frustrating to the point of temporary insanity and I ask myself, will I stay and not walk out mid-sentence? I whisper “listen, listen, listen” and they scream randomness and terms moronic, yet dialectal. It is getting harder to keep my thoughts to myself and if it does not finish soon, I confirm that I will get belligerent. Today another teacher—much more dedicated than myself, older too, felt broken. How can a “child” and a “parent” devalue the meaningful passions of an individual actually willing to invest their energies and heart into the academic success of a human? They are like zoo animals, willing to pull, prick, and prod like they did in the Nazi concentration camps and I wonder: where did all this animosity come from? The few, the willing, the proud also refers to these teachers experiencing disrespect by someone half or more than half their age. It is disgusting to see this small-minded creature—it pains me to call them that—threaten and make another person’s life a living hell.
A few days ago, one of the hyenas walked out of their classroom to “take care of” another child that apparently had been “messing with” his homeboy. Bloodied, bruised, and broken these children roam like lost dandelion seeds in the wind. They call my generation snowflakes, but damn this younger one is beastly. Needless to say, disillusionment levels are at 3,000 percent.
In a school where you get written up by your administration for being willing to help and dedicate yourself to the institution’s betterment, everyone breaks. That woman was strong, but if children refuse to respect, adults refuse to understand, and other teachers refuse to help, there will only be chaos when she snaps. This is a system that pushes you out only after pushing you against the wall and the pressure builds so much it feels like your cells are squeezed into the concrete pores. Where will you end up when you reach the other side and will you end up alive?
“Call it whatever the fuck you want”
I am in my classroom,
Next door teacher (NDT) enters,
We prepare to eat lunch and chat.
Ugh why?! (I am almost certain it is another student)
Disillusioned teacher (DT) walks in…
DT beings to complain and explain,
She was just written up by a colleague
Who just violated the cardinal rules of accountability.
DT cannot help not being given access to the documents
Cannot help not being given access to a necessary web module
Cannot help not having internet at home (mother’s sick)
Too many bills and the rent is increasing
She lives alone:
Life is work and work is life.
NDT gives me a look as if saying:
This is every single day.
In my head, there is a mixture of feelings:
Pity, apathy, and compassion (how?)
DT sits down and opens her McDonald’s meal
She let the server know she was lactose intolerant and that she wanted pico de gallo
Instead she was given tartar sauce.
She missed most of her lunch hour picking up McDonalds because…
She couldn’t cook last night
She waited in line for 10 minutes.
DT complains and complains and she is already bothered by being written up…
NDT and I stare and try to understand try to speak
Cannot get a word in otherwise.
WHY CAN’T THEY GIVE ME THE CORRECT ORDER?! (DT)
(Slams the sandwich back into its card and tartar sauce flies all over my desk, a failure notice, a rock collection, and the floor)
It looked like guacamole to me…
This is not something I was expecting and to be honest…
I thought she was crazy.
What did the desk ever do to you!?
NDT and I stop eating
I pass DT a wipe and try to clean up the failure notice.
Eventually the bell to start the next class rings and DT leaves. NDT and I part ways as I rush to my 3-minute restroom break. I stop by NDT’s class on the way back. Apparently, DT is very easily frustrated and highly tense lately. I try to understand where DT is coming from, but NDT and I are so shocked. I don’t want to gossip…