i am waiting for a meeting at a youth center in east oakland. the room i’m waiting in is called the living room and is a huge space with 8 couches, spread throughout the space. the wall says this room has a capacity of 100. i am the only one in here. in the 20 minutes i have been waiting, four separate young black men have come through the door, seen me sitting here and walked back out. hurray for post-racial america.
i am sad that a component of my job is filing suspected abuse reports so frequently that the blank PDF is one of three things bookmarked on my browser at work.
i am sad that i have been on hold with cps for 23 minutes 19 seconds because they “are experiencing a high volume of calls”.
i am sad that this happens every time i call.
i do not care about being on hold. i am sad that this means there are so many other people out there with the same lousy PDF bookmarked.
please. just love and care for your children or find someone who will. PLEASE. i have never met a “bad” kid who wasn’t made that way by a shitty adult.
29 minutes 10 seconds and holding.
as a teacher, i sometimes make connections with students that are beyond “history is cool!”, and evolve into “hey, let me know how you’re doing now that you’re out of my care”. i like to know when my kids are successful, especially, because the results of teaching are otherwise never seen. you do something for someone when they’re 14 that has an impact on them when they’re 18, 19, 20, and you never know that you really did make a difference. so phone calls inviting me to graduations, telling me they got into college, asking for advice on careers… those help fill my cup and keep me going.
the problem as of late is that when things are going well, i don’t exist, but as soon as shit hits the fan, my phone is blowing up. help me, i want to kill myself. help me, i need a job. help me, i’m getting kicked out onto the street. and it’s not that i don’t appreciate being someone my kids feel like they can count on for help, but it is starting to make me feel a little bit like a sucker. like ms. jones will always drop whatever she’s doing to fix my life, and as they get older and their problems become more intense, i’m not the same fixer i was when they were fighting with their girlfriend and i told them how to stop being a jackass. i am beginning to resent being seen as someone that doesn’t have my own shit to take care of and the expectation that exists in these relationships as the person that should drop everything to rescue them.
i’m getting better at saying “here’s what i would do, but i can’t solve this problem for you, buddy/buddette”, but all i am really asking for is a text every once in a while when things are good. a reminder that you like having me in your life even when things aren’t falling to shit. it gives me the delusion that i’m more than just a fixer, and i like that.
i missed truthful tuesday because i forgot it was tuesday on account of the holiday.
- tonight i played guitar and sang in the staff talent show for my school. i love playing music but i hate doing it in front of other people, and as soon as my husband and i moved in together almost 8 years ago, i quit playing my guitar. i really need to start playing regularly again and stop being so self-conscious. he’s had my spit in his mouth; he can listen to me hit some twangy notes. oh, and the talent show went pretty well, even when i messed up the lyrics.
- my kids this year have been awesome and they’ve helped me see a lot of what i don’t know when it comes to history, which is starting to feel like nearly everything. i’m going to start taking classes at the community college regularly so i can answer all of their brilliant questions and make sure i am confident in the story i tell them when i teach.
- i’ll be going home for a week and a half at the end of june and i am equal parts excited and terrified. i love seeing my family and getting to play in los angeles, but i can’t stand the parts where i see old friends and am reminded how much i miss my relationships with people from high school. more than that, i dread having to face how much they don’t miss me and that is yucky.
- i have 480 pieces of paper sitting in my backpack waiting to be graded, and they’ve been there for almost a week. i have to get that done by saturday or i will die.
- two death cab albums in a row have contained songs that make me think of sunny day real estate. this is one of them.
- i am not sure how, but i spent too much money this month and can’t wait until i get paid next friday.
- i will always feel weird being a white lady teaching about slavery to a population that is 70% black.
- i still have no idea what i want to do when i grow up.
- this week i’ve been really into toasting marshmallows in the oven for my nighttime snack. i’m going to die of diabeetus in no more than 20 years.
- i’ve been a big sports fan my whole life, but this year i haven’t been able to get into the spirit and can’t even name most of the players on the oakland a’s. i need to go to some games.
- my little sister has lived with my husband and i for the past year. as much as she can drive me crazy, i am really going to miss having her around to play with when she moves away next month.
tonight i sent out an email that i composed weeks ago and have obsessed over on a daily basis, terrified that my friends would think i have completely lost my mind. my fingers shook as i selected the recipients and pressing “send” required taking that deep breath that you take when the doctor is about to give you a shot.
tonight i asked my friends to believe in a student i work with and to give money to a child they will never know, with a story i can’t fully tell in order to protect his privacy. within 15 minutes i had 3 positive replies with offers far beyond my expectations.
tonight i am so incredibly grateful for the people in my life and for their willingness to give simply because i asked. we are going to give a gift way better than a ps3 this year, and i can’t believe they said “yes”.