I reflect on my life in the inner city a lot, of course. I've been doing this a long time and I wonder about myself. I accept a lot of things as normal now. Strange things. I drove around the corner from school today and the street was taped off and there were a bunch of cop cars parked at crazy angles. There were numerous little red numbers spaced all over the street. Someone was shot or shot at a whole bunch of times. This was a block from school. Didn't hear it while I was there. Didn't hear the sirens either. I kept on driving. A couple of weeks ago, a colleague and I were talking after school. We heard a whole bunch of what we thought at first was fireworks. We realized "drive by shooting" at the same time. We exchanged knowing looks and kept on working. Just another normal day.
It's strange that it doesn't make much of an impression. It reminds me of a passage in a Celine book where an officer is standing in the middle of a road during a battle and is giving orders and the bullets are flying by and the officer just keeps giving orders and not even noticing the bullets. The danger is everywhere and he is immersed in it without concern. I work in a dangerous place and sometimes the danger is closer than ever. The last few weeks my students have been involved in lots of outside violence with kids from other schools. Some of the students are coming to my school to start fights. Our security guards have been heading most of the kids off at the pass. It's hairy, though. There are minor things all the time. I hope it doesn't escalate. Who knows if the violent evidence that I saw today is connected with the school violence in the neighborhood. It's not good and it's only going to get worse as the weather gets warmer.
I got a call about an interview at another school today. Hopefully, some good will come of this.
My kids are getting worse and worse. I have my good days and bad. They are mostly bad the past few weeks. I wonder why the Hell I do this. My kids just want to fight with each other, insult each other, and annoy each other. I've been teaching these kids since September and what have I done. They're just as violent and disrespectful now as they were when I met them. Ugh!