the circular runner


In teaching & education, Uncategorized on May 26, 2010 at 12:33 pm

It’s late. My wife is asleep and I should be doing the same, but I just got home from teaching my “hot-shots”–the kids who think white people have no culture. This week we moved on to patriotism and what it means to be American. But this post won’t be dealing with that so much. The more interesting issue and the reason why this post is called “sucking” has to do with how I feel. You see early on in tonight’s class, while my students usually are journaling, one of them ( a student I’ve written about before) started in with his usual schtick: while the rest of the room was settling in to write on the prompt I assigned, he started in with “what are we supposed to do? I don’t get what a Liberal is?” There was a lot of giggling at his table. He was playing the clown, but at the heart of it, he was probably really confused by the prompt I gave. It wasn’t easy. I was asking them to think about what the words “liberal” and “conservative” mean. And these kids are not political. Anyway, instead of encouraging the clown to be quiet and start writing, I took another tack. I very forcefully told him that he had to his best and just write something. I didn’t care what. He just had to be quiet. This may not sound so bad, but if you don’t know me, then imagine a 6 foot 3 inch bald man looking like he was about to kill someone, and you’ll get my point. I lost it. He knew it. And for the rest of the class, this smart clown didn’t make one peep. He was offended. I know it. I lost him. My only hope is that I didn’t lose him for the duration. Sometimes with the community I teach, this is more than possible.

My other more immediate hope is that once I am offline, I’ll let it go. I’m pooped, so I probably will be able to sleep, but there’s tomorrow and a long drive to work’s worth of beating myself up that I want to avoid. I know I’m human. I make mistakes. The religious side of me wants to ask God for forgiveness. I can’t say I’m the best church-goer, but I often start my day with St. Francis’ Peace Prayer. In those words, I try to remind myself it’s my job to help when I can and to get out of the way when I can’t. Tonight I didn’t quite hit that mark. In the end, if I can’t let it go, there’s not much point in taking it to the Divine. Oh well, I’ll try to let it go. I will let it go. See, I let it go (kind of).

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