My life changed the moment I stepped foot into these doors. In the back of my mind I had always thought that I would end up here and some days I’d like to be somewhere else.
The first alarm is soul shattering reminding me each day that I must deal with the attitudes, the dislike for school, the long lines on the highway, the abrupt stops, and the miles that carry me the distance 26 upwards from my home. I have time to think, pray, focus, rant, rave, curse, prepare, and listen until I step foot into the building.
Good Morning! Good morning! good morning! morning! rings up and down the halls. Endless hugs, hurried walks, big bright smiles, athletic bags, stray pieces of paper, broken pencils, and shattered pens hide in corners as students move not realizing they are losing pieces of themselves along the way.
Please stand for the pledge is what we hear. Teachers that have served shake our heads because there is no respect for the nations symbolic meaning of freedom and liberty. A moment of silence interrupted by the crinkle of candy wrappers as slight snickers are exchanged between frienemies.
First period…second period…third period…fourth period…fifth period…the day floats on. “I must teach my standards”, teachers say all day while looking at the kids. Kids whose clothes are disheveled because they may have been rushing out of the door. As I look closely at their faces, vacant stares look at me. These children are fighting something bigger than me.
I didn’t eat last night. I didn’t sleep last night. My mom got beat by her boyfriend last night. My mom didn’t come home last night. My daddy got arrested last night. My brother got shot last night. My gran-daddy died last night. We moved into a shelter in the middle of night last night. I thought last night was my last last night.