School for Dropouts

‘Round 10 am
my head feels pressed 
like the stale air outside
these lead-draped windows.
Right here’s a periodic
table of the elements,
which nobody needs to see.
Nobody. It’s English/credit
recovery. I’m a stand-in
teacher, & it’s my response
(ability) to mark absences,
tardies, &keep the peace
where nothing is holy
except personal cell phones,
gang causes, &some cartoons. 
I’m not stirring the pot.
Just reading something great:
“Underneath are everlasting arms,”
while the F-bomb flies freely.
Say it. They were cradled as babies.

for Quickly’s Winter Doldrums


10 thoughts on “School for Dropouts

  1. I soon wanted to do something interesting with “responsibility” and could not figure out what. You nailed it.
    “Keep the peace” is so true, and so sad, to me. It really isn’t about the love of learning anymore, is it?

    1. Sad, really how these particular kids will be “in high school” soooo long. I talked to a girl who has a 2 year-old daughter at home and she was saying she can’t wait for her “day” to start. It was 11:30am. She hates school.

  2. Responsibility, I thought, meant the ability to be responsive, not an obligation. Sometimes it’s hard to believe you can make a difference, but I believe you are. You might be the one person in their lives not stirring the pot. I salute you – education is our family business.

  3. Deuteronomy. For enduing our enemies. I salute the substitute. Tried it for a year. More than enough. From my subs., however, I learned things with me to this day (and having nothing to do with the subject substituted). I can sing “Jingle Bells” in Latin, and I know the formal way to say “you’re welcome” in Spanish. Bless the substitute.

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