Sunday night, during the Colts-Patriots game, John Madden used the word "cankles" - as in your calves running right into your ankles. Awesome. Loved it.
I want to thank Amanda, Heidi, and Lori, along with some of my non-law school friends who sponsored my participation in the local AIDS Walk and Festival. It was an amazing experience for me. I was having a morning of self-pity, and taking part in such an event helped give me some much needed perspective. All people, black and white, gay and straight, together - working and walking toward a common goal. A perfect way to spent a Sunday afternoon.
I can't believe it's been 5 years since 9-11. I still remember standing in front of my sixth graders, teaching language arts, when my mentor teacher called me into the hall to tell me that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. At that point, she then sent me back into the room stating that I was not to inform any of the students as to what was going on (did I really know, anyway?), as we didn't want to upset them. I went back into my classroom with my bravest, strongest (I thought) teacher face, and took my kids through some sentence diagramming. She again arrived at my classroom and pulled me out to inform me that another plane had done the same thing. Again - brave, strong teacher face. Luckily, after language arts was "specials" - I believe they had P.E. that day....I took that time to watch the television set up in the break room.
Everyone had the same idea...everyone was squeezed in the teacher's lounge watching the tv that had been rolled in for this reason. Our principal made the decision that none of the teachers were to tell their students what had occurred until after lunch, as he didn't want the kids discussing it at that time. So, I did as told and I picked my students up from specials and walked them to the lunchroom. I then rejoined my fellow teachers in the lounge.
After lunch, I picked my students up from the classroom and rather than having them "run around the rock" and D.E.A.R. (exercise...and reading), I told them we were going to have a class meeting in our classroom library. My classroom library was in its own little section of the room with big pillows and bean bag chairs - very cozy. So we sat on the floor with bean bags and pillows, and I proceeded to explain to the kids...as well I could manage...what had occurred that morning.
Interestingly, one of the concerns that the other teachers had was, how to handle the students' likely response of- let's fight back...let's do the same thing to them...revenge.....but, guess what? At least for my awesome (they really were awesome) students, that was never an issue. It wasn't - what are we going to do to the terrorists - but - what are we going to do to help everyone in NYC? I was moved, and in complete awe of these 12 year olds. I put the question to them - what did they want to do to help? Among themselves, they decided that they wanted to write letters. To whom? I asked. To kids. What kids? A student asked, aren't there schools in that area? I thought so - but I put them to the task of finding out. One student jumped on the Internet and found some elementary schools in Lower Manhattan - we noted their address and principals' names, and spent the afternoon writing letters to the students directly affected by the terrible tragedy that had befallen them.
For all their fear and confusion and sadness, my students' first concern was - how can we help? To this day, I am honored that I was a part of these brilliant and charming kids' lives during that time. Remembering that helps me to deal with the insanity the world can sometimes throw my way.
Love to DHS Class of 2008.