The truth out there

Published February 2, 2014 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I really don’t plan some of the things I say or do. I mostly just bumble around like a wind-up toy and bounce away from the stuff that might stop or crush me. Sometimes things become completely clear and too real for bouncy avoidance.

Top of the list is the fact that I am being dragged kicking and screaming into the grown-up world.

Yesterday I had to stop myself from buying a pair of shoes I don’t need. I didn’t and later on I went grocery shopping and the amount of money I spent to make a week’s worth of lunches was exactly the same amount I would have spent on the shoes.  I felt like I should be given a fan-fare in recognition of my rational behavior.

And then I saw this article about Wal-mart and its customers suffering from the cut in food stamps. A lot of people can not afford the bare minimum essentials at a notoriously inexpensive store.

So now I feel like a chump. But this chump has food.

In other news, I am also compiling more information for my eventual tirade on education. I keep notes on everything. Last week I subbed in a Content Mastery class at a high school that has a sketchy reputation.

I had a great day. The staff was so positive and enthusiastic that it had a trickle down affect on the students. True, I only saw a handful of students and they were all volunteering to come for extra help, but it was still a good experience.

I also did a half-day in a Kindergarten ESL class. Not entirely frightening. I did get a little nervous when I discovered that it was the permanent teacher’s last day in the district.    I got even more nervous when I arrived and found out that the first language of most of the kids was either Hindi or Vietnamese.  Tiny kids are not good with the language anyway, but tiny kids who are not good with a foreign language and have a virtual stranger try and keep things from going kerfluey is a lot confusing.

There were about twenty kids.  That’s a lot of little kids.  It was also the first day the kids were able to go outside for recess in three weeks.  I had also forgotten that it takes a little kid three times as long to do anything as it would take an older child. Multiply that by twenty and add a teacher who is terrible with names, any names, and also refuses to point and call a kid, “You” because it’s demeaning and insulting and divide by the number of kids who are trying to curry favor by tattling on each other but can’t remember the teacher’s name.

Yeah. Big fun.

The worst part is that Kindergarten eats lunch at 10:30 AM.  Really. Then they don’t get another big break until school is out at 2:50.

The regular teacher had “Snack ” on the main schedule, but not in the notes she gave me.  I understand. Kids will be hungry about two and half hours after their ridiculously early lunch.  Apparently she forgot about snack for that day. I think it’s something she usually provided and the kids were most disturbed when it didn’t appear. Several of them reminded me and then showed me where snack was usually kept. Nothing there but craft paper.

It almost broke my heart when the child who was line leader looked up at me with her big brown eyes and said, “Miss, I’m hungry.”

Absolutely nothing I could do in that situation.

And that’s the truth.

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