Her home life’s a mess — no role models or stability. At recess on bad days, all she wants is to be near me, and to read.
You have no idea how much I want to take her home with me, or how much it hurts to know that I can’t.
I attended a private school growing up, as I have said. Private school was a “safe” environment — at least it was for a goodie-goodie like me.
The elementary school I work at now is not private. There are three kindergarten classes, three first grade classrooms, three second grade classrooms. Third, fourth, and fifth graders attend an identical school down the street. More than 60 percent of our students are Hispanic. More than forty percent do not live with their parents.
Last week, *Marius was thrown out of school. He’d been a problem all year, had barricaded himself in the bathroom and was stuffing toilet paper into all of the toilets. He refused to come out, and, when he finally did, was chased down and taken to the office to wait for his grandmother. Marius has blond curls and blue eyes and baby chub. Marius is in kindergarten. Continue reading
“Are you a goodie-goodie?”
My heart leapt in my chest. He was talking to me. Was he talking to me? Yes! He was talking to me!
“I, uh . . .” Wait a . . . Was I a what? A goodie-goodie? What was a goodie-goodie?
“Uh . . .” I thought I knew what it meant. I had a pretty good idea, but . . .
I was stuttering. He was staring at me. My cheeks were burning. The cement sidewalk where we stood was crashing into the school parking lot — six inches below. Continue reading
Sitting in my darkened apartment, listening to the hum of traffic on University Avenue. It’s Saturday evening and my weekend has (finally) officially started. I’ve had thoughts all week about what to write right here. And yet, now, when I finally have the time . . .
seem . . .
Like me. Continue reading