The school year is finally over. I got a free T-Shirt. People sign them. Someone wrote on mine “Shut-Up!”
A lot of my friends were telling me that the last day of school has a lot of fights and can be awfully hectic. Last year two people got into a knife fight. My friends told me to not do anything crazy, which is to say anything I normally do. Like: wear rainbow colored socks (which I did today and I rolled up my pants to show them better) and talk about how stupid the school is and that the majority of administrative staff are a bunch of bone heads (maybe they were afraid the administrative staff would staff would stab me?). I also point out how the students are awfully bone-headed at times too though. They are constantly calling things “gay”, which I have talked about already, and they beat the crap out of each other over things like scuffing each other’s shoes. I talked today too. Stab wounds on me: zero. Bruises: zero. My nose remains unbroken.
Over the course of the year I did no more than 12 homework assignments. My GPA is a 3.0, which is a B. This upsets my friends and just about everyone else to no end. I guess I learned some things. I learned something about people, or people-wannabes, and that the fact is this: yes, they do exist. There are people out there who want to be people but they just can’t help but be inhumane.
About the last day: at the beginning of the day the principal announced that people were not allowed to turn on their TV for the whole day, which was about the World Cup, and about how teachers were not allowed to let us watch it during class. Mrs Golden, the principal, makes similar announcements, telling us who needs to come to the office, who is coming back from the office, who needs to pull their pants up, who needs to get out of the hallway, and how that the last two days of school were not going to be just fun and games, that we are expected to do our work (despite how many times she shrieked at us from above, making it impossible to think). During first and second period, however, I and my class watched Chile show Honduras who’s boss. The teachers did not do what they had the complete and total moral right to do, however, and that is beat up our principal and intimidate her with sharp objects even though she acted the same way she has all year too, which is to say, crazily. Well, she’s retiring anyway. She got the big Shut-Up T-shirt, just like me.
There were a lot of fights today. I guess people have a sort of end of the world mentality the last day of school. After school my mother took me to the Mexican bakery we like and we bought several very delicious pastries. I think if the world was ending I would be found eating Mexican pastries.
Just to wrap up loose ends of the year and share a few thoughts I was too lazy to share before: the Gazette never did respond to my letter. At a school board hearing we learned that the principal of my school said, in writing, that she hates — “hates” — a bullied asthmatic sixth grade girl because the girl’s mother was asking that she actually do something about the situation with her kid. The mother was there to talk about this, but the school board did not seem very surprised. I also learned at that hearing that Tarkington Elementary uses weighted vests to make some children sit still.
I decided this year I want to be a teacher.
At the Labor Notes convention in Detroit, the new Ho-Town (Mo-Town has a lot of strip clubs now), I went to a teachers union workshop and learned that yes, everything is just as doomed as I thought it was. Everyone was talking about how schooling is just impossible, administrators give everyone a really hard time, Wal-Mart is making money off the education system (the stock market and the public school system formed some sort of satanic pact I don’t understand), and that charter schools, which are anti-union, will one day take over the world. During the question and answer session I pointed out that students really should have some involvement in the teacher’s union. Also, I don’t like it that students are viewed more as a natural resource than as human beings. They responded with things like how that was a very good point and that it was rarely raised. One of the teachers there said they she often tried to engage her students in union activities and that several of them were very helpful.
To sum up the end of the year: it was an interesting, loud, and very “educational” experience. I plan to spend my summer at the pool and maybe teaching small children at Peace Camp that no, it is not a good idea to pull out other people’s teeth unless you are a dentist.