Friday, October 07, 2005

Eyes Wide Shut

I wrote this last week, but it has taken until today to post. Lo siento mucho.

Teaching pace is picking up. It’s possible we will learn some Spanish in Spanish One. Encouragingly, it’s October.

The interesting events of the past week have had a more social than academic slant. Thursday I was invited to dine with a group of teachers from Wingfield, all older than me, most significantly older. We went to an old hotel on Capital Street, and started with some drinks (I routinely drink Bud Light now when I go out. As the water of the South, it is cheap and always where you want to be.). The conversation veered immediately toward bitching as it always does, and I laughed good naturedly; I don’t wish to contribute more than necessary to the negativity, but I also hope to establish as many allies at school as possible. Aside from being older, this group of teachers is also all white. That might not be strange if all of the teachers at Wingfield were white, but I would guess that roughly only a third identify as Caucasian. Despite my immediate suspicion of the racial breakdown, or lack thereof, I tried to remain optimistic, or perhaps just plain naïve, to the situation. Then a fellow teacher, a younger (early thirties?) white woman, originally from Mississippi, commented, “I feel so bad for the few white kids at school because they’re forced to associate with only black kids. There’s no one for them to be close to or to date…” Her voice trailed off with her saddened gaze, while I stared at her, shocked, mouth momentarily agape. Fortunately, there were no other such blatantly racist comments, and I did flirt with the old men enough to get my dinner paid for.

The second eye-opener also took place on Thursday, during fourth period when I confiscated a note, the highlight of which read, “I got that good dick yesterday morning and evening I me feeling real good.” That student has now transferred to a job program in Batesville. Her friend, who confesses to “be doing 69 downlow” on JD still tries to avoid looking me in the eye every other day in 4th period.

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