My first day teaching middle school.
The first years were great. They asked me wonderful, clear questions, such as “Do you like rain?” Yes I do, so I got them to make the rain song (by first rubbing their hands together, then snapping their fingers, which most of them couldn’t do, so I had them lightly clap their hands instead, then we closed our eyes, and listened to the rain song. They were smiling so I think they liked it.) We did some yoga (I said, “I like yoga. Who else likes yoga? Raise your hand if you like yoga." And nearly everyone raised their hand. To them yoga is just stretching I think, , but nonetheless, I had everyone up and doing moon pose with me.) So the first years were great. The second years (eighth graders) were also great. We played apples to apples, the game where I write an adjective on the board, like "beautiful, “ and they have to write on a piece of paper what they think is the most beautiful. Then I collect the answers and read them out loud, picking my favorites. Lots of laughs. For “most beautiful” the answers were flowers, stars, the sea, insects, trees, rain snow, dragons, eggs, nine people wrote rainbows. One guy wrote ‘dreams.” The winners were soul, friendship, and sky. The prize: my business card. I had time to do another so I chose “most scarry,” and the results were great, and scarry. (Shit, i think i misspelled scarry. oh well.) spiders, octopus, hospitals, blood, earthquakes, sister, mother, father, my grandmother, teachers, tests, UFOs, five eighth graders picked ghosts, three picked war, and three picked death. The winners were death, dying, and war. The prize: tiny pictures I xeroxed of a drawing I made of a cicada on a lotus blossom.
The third years sucked ass. Blank faces, no energy, they were just too cool to participate in anything or show any sort of interest whatsoever in my self-introduction or me. We played a pathetic game of jeopardy and pictionary. The first years spoke more English. I heard that third years often act dumb to impress their friends because speaking english means you are a nerd. whatever. I had fun anyway. Better to light one candle then curse the darkness.
Highlights of the day were standing out on the porch in the teacher”s lounge, drinking coffee and watching the clouds cover up the mountains, listening to the rain pitter patter while eating lunch, and watching the children clean the school. How brilliant is that? Have the kids clean the school. They mopped the halls with rags in their hands, hunched over, running up and down the halls. quite the site. I cleaned some windows. And watched the rain. A tsunami is coming. A big one, I think, because they canceled school tomorrow, and that usually never happens. I can hear the wind howling outside right now. Don’t worry. I live on the fourth floor of my concrete apartment building, and I have plenty of food to eat, books to read, paintings to paint, music to make, and mind to watch.
My sister is now home safe from new orleans, with both her cats. I just saw her with my web cam, and she told me about the pets that are now dying in all the homes that were abandoned. She also told me that the levies broke, flooding the city the day after the storm, so many people returended to their homes. Rescuers are punching holes in roofs finding many dead bodies in attics. amazing.
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