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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Praise Be To Spring Break

It's been quite the challenging fortnight.

I had to proctor a graduation test our 10th graders have to take last week. That was one of the most depressing educational experiences of my life. Granted, I was overseeing a bunch of kids with minor special needs so they don’t technically have to pass the test in order to graduate, but I still don’t want to see the poor things try their best while they know it isn’t enough. We purposefully never told them that they didn’t have to pass it, but then our counselors thought it fit to disclose the truth to the entire grade, causing quite a stir and some embarrassment from the kids. Despite that, not one of them seemed to blow it off at all. I was proud.

For some of the days, I was assigned to a lone girl who likes to read out loud, and it was utterly heart-breaking to listen to her during reading portion which cannot be read to her… It stumbled out of her mouth bearing little to no resemblance to the English language whatsoever. I stopped reading the words on her page and just sat and listened to her and thought how sad it was that this was the best she could do in interpreting what was on the page. I thought back to my own experiences in Arabic class. I had teachers who assumed everyone in the room spoke Arabic as a first language and so I was NEVER taught accordingly to my ability level, which didn’t mean I learned just a little bit while others learned a lot… It meant I learned NOTHING. It would have been like teaching advanced calculus to a toddler and assuming that if the rug-rat was in there long enough, he’d pick something up, albeit a little behind everyone else. Doesn’t work like that. The ship had sailed, and I was still at the dock… I was NOT trailing behind in a leaky dingy. Rather than feel sorry for me and offer me assistance, I was ridiculed, bullied, hit, and insulted. I wish I could say that came from the kids, but no, it came from Mrs. Mussurah. (Thanks, lady. By the way, I called you Skelator behind your back.)

As I was thinking of the gaunt, jaundiced face of Mrs. Mussurah, my student decided to skip the first passage and said she’d come back to it. The second passage was no better, so she moved onto the third. This one, by F. Scott Fitzgerald made some sense to her the second time she read it aloud and I was uplifted to hear her slowly making sense of parts of it.

I was also mildly distracted by the pain I was experiencing that week and am still experiencing to a lesser degree right now. I had dismissed shingles thinking I was too young and wasn’t seeing any rash on my body, but shingles it is. The doctor said it could be brought on by stress, so I said (in my best attempt to not sound like Eric Idle one little bit) “say no more”.

Then my phone got stolen... I mean “taken” by a student I don’t know. Thanks to having a connection in the phone company, we were able to get information not normally disclosed to customers, which I then passed on to our campus cop and got the wiener identified. For someone who had just “found” my phone, he certainly went through a lot of trouble by erasing my phone/address book saved not just to the sim card, but to the internal memory too, replacing my wallpaper with a picture of some chick with a baby, adding his own numbers (mostly those of freshmen girls… Ew), and chucking my own sim card away. He told the cop he had no way of identifying who the phone belonged to. It seems calling “Home” was too challenging for him. But it’s okay. He’s one of our “athletes”, so you can rest assured he got justly punished by the school.

PSYCH! He got zilch. I asked for an apology (I’ve not dealt with the kid directly, just though his grade level principal and the cop), and I was told I was going to get one. With how long it’s taking to get it, I’m hoping for a big production number with singing and complex choreography included.

I have thus concluded that the best course of action is to pack up and take the family to Disney World. So that’s exactly what I’m going to do. I’m just trading one Mickey Mouse outfit packed with Goofies for another.

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