Yesterday I took the day off to grade papers. It's a sad state of affairs to have to take time off from your job to do your job, but that is almost a side story. What is really important is that I was not aware that we were going to do a "stay in place" drill.
On most occasions, this is simply an easy drill. Something odd has been observed on campus, so kids are supposed to stay in their classrooms until it has been identified and managed. Usually, this means that a teacher has a Christmas present behind their desk that they were unaware of. But who knows, it could be a bomb.
Anyway, I digress. These days, it could be anything. And more importantly, after the shooting in Florida last week, or gosh, the week before, tensions have been high. And worse? I promised my kids that I would stand between them and anything that might come. And instead, the day that mettle was put to the test, I was at home, grading essays that were a month old, because no matter how I tried, I could not get them done in my day.
I was devastated when I read the email that it was about to commence. I wasn't there. I couldn't reassure my kids, or look them in the eye, or take care of them. And even a rational mind knows that the drill was, in any instance, simply a drill, and it wasn't even a serious concern, since all students could continue about their business (minus the bathroom...sorry Jared), and so they were safe, but fuck. I wasn't there. And last week, when we talked about what we need to do in the event of...I promised them I would be there.
So today, I proudly took my graded papers to them, and I hugged one or two of them because I was so fucking glad to see them, and then I got through my day until our PD meeting, where we talked about "in the event of." And I'm so fucking sick of thinking about "what we should do in the event of." I want to just love them and teach them and fight with them and get them through it, and I HATE it that evil destroys all of us. There isn't enough wine in the world to make me feel better.
So when people talk about how this is the way, or that is the way, or we need to make our teachers work harder, or carry guns, or love more or love less or that parents need to take more of a role, I say Fuck All Of You.
Look at yourself and do something yourself. QUIT passing it on, and know that each of us has to do something. And I don't know what it means for you, but for me, it means I will put myself in the way of someone who wants to hurt my kids. I've lived 43 amazing fucking years, and Emile Sande can't say it any better. MY heart beats for you.
God, I'm a fucking mess. Forgive me. Or forgive yourself, but make something change. Each of us MUST.
Wanted: a good set of sentences to grab you from the depths of the internet. I keep trying to catch your eye.