The previous entry was my heat-of-the-moment entry. I've now internalized the encounter over the phone with Cam's mother for the last several hours, and now the memory is burned into my brain. I'll remember Cam for a long time, even if I never see him again, if only because I've never felt a parent's pain so palpably for losing a kid to the streets. I feel upset about a lot of things that happen to my kids, about the lives they are forced to leave, about the tumultuous lives they lead, about parents that don't seem to care. Standing aside and observing this, I often feel helpless and alone, that I can only do so much in my role as a teacher*. Today, I didn't feel helpless and alone, just helpless, and I haven't ever quite felt this sort of helpless alongside a parent. It's worse, because you can't even think to yourself, "Well, maybe his parents were just bad." It seems to be something else. And this was a choke-in-your-throat pain that comes only when you truly can't do anything about it because even the parent doesn't have a clue.
That being said, nothing else special happened today. I peed in a urinal right next to the principal, the first time that has happened in five years and four principals (although one was a woman, so that decreased the chances there!). That was weird, because he's a talker, but it was sort of good, because we talked about JV baseball. I found a roach in my miniature refrigerator at school. I had a decent lesson. I laughed a lot with my 5/6 B class, who have turned from my least favorite class to nearly my favorite. I can just make so much fun of those kids. I love it. Today, we read a poem called "Janet Waking," which is mostly a sympathetic portrayal of a young girl's first experience with death. But there are a few moments of humor in it, and I asked them to identify it as I read. They did, and laughed (something other classes did not pick up on; one kid actually said, "If you have to think about it, it's not funny."). I then told them that picking up subtle humor was a higher level thinking skill, so their laughs were a signal to me as a teacher that they understood and that they were engaging in some higher level thinking. "Oh, Mr. Epiph," they said. "We laugh all the time." And then they proceeded to do just that. Laugh all the time for the rest of class. They laughed all the time, then kept telling me, "See how intelligent we are? We're higher level thinkers!" It was absolutely hilarious. I don't think I've laughed that hard in a long time.
My point of this entry was to say that today wasn't a very memorable day, but I think it was pretty memorable now that I think about it. I guess that's a good thing, although the memorable-ness wasn't entirely positive.
However, I can almost guarantee that tomorrow will be more memorable. In fact, I will say that I will probably remember tomorrow for the rest of my life.
* Speaking of which, Bobby made it into the University of Philadelphia today.
“A New Golden Age Of Maps” - Will Oremus heralds it: Once the province of big, professional operations like Rand McNally and National Geographic, cartography is becoming a more democra...
1 minute ago