Armageddon 2014: To All Things…and Ending!
Although, to be fair, I think I’ll be referring to them as “Vom Soldiers” from now on. Sort of generic lobotomized minions, recycled out of the husks of the people that used to populate the “No Man’s Land” that used to be my school. What with the “hit the road, Jack!” mentality from Darth on anyone that dissents with his opinion, this is rapidly going to be the only kind of “hero” left where I work.
The inks really brought out the contrast in the art, which was a big, big deal. I drew it knowing that the week was going to descend into further political conflict, for the very structure of the school. Knowing that more than a few people would file their transfer papers before the end of the week, and knowing that at the end of the week, Spring Break would begin, and I would see Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
The key battle with Vom Soldiers this week was for that most American of things…money. The SIG grant extended school hours were not put on any teacher’s paycheck…shorting the entire staff out of about three hundred bucks. Big deal, right? The responsibility firmly falls on the individual responsible for verifying payroll…who obviously didn’t make it on time. I expected the staff to be more peeved about this, to make more of a stink, to demand an inquest or form a gang like the kind that hunts Frankenstein.
None of those things happened.
I was cross about it. Very cross. The Union was mobilized, since they shine at this sort of thing, and now, as of this post, the money is safely in my account for hours already worked. Still working on some cash from December, but I guess things take time.
I dislike making a stink about money. I do what I do for reasons besides money…but when the word “professional’ is constantly thrown around about conduct…you need to pay the people that you expect it from. That’s what the word means…people who get paid for something. In addition, I don’t really care if you’re a Darth or not…you screw up…own it, come clean about it, and that’s a thing. It can be worked with, and the people involved will both respect you, and be okay with it.
Darth never really owned it. I guess that he has bigger problems than, I don’t know, payroll. Maybe not…since like I said a few paragraphs ago, transfer papers are flying around like bullets at my school. And, True Believer…we know that bullets fly.
Still…standing up for what’s right isn’t just about pay this week. Fights have been abounding on campus, and students have been getting increasingly boisterous. By boisterous, I mean escalating in their actions in ways that are almost surreal in their directions. It has been a struggle to keep them on task, and to focus them on things like the District Periodic Assessment.
Motivator? In a few hours, I’m going to grab my Captain Hoofmerica Pony, and see the Winter Soldier. Everyone I know who has seen it says that it is great. My t-shirt is ready, and i have a Cap Uniform Hoodie for the evening.
I’m excited. A whole week of standing up for things like voting, the underdog, protecting the freedoms of young people to learn…it seems in line with Cap’s ethos.
Here’s an updated Captain Hoofmerica:
Some things happened fast this week. Our math teacher got a new job for next year, and our other english teacher submitted papers to transfer yesterday. in looking at the paperwork for our second math teacher to leave this year…my co-teacher and I noticed that to have priority in placement, we needed to submit the same papers by April 15th.
That’s during break, so we had some quick thinking to do. in the end, it was no thinking at all. By the day of this posting, the paperwork will be in at our main office. We are presuming that things will go poorly, so Monday or so we will submit the same documents electronically…just to be sure. With third parties on the mail.
Is this a bit paranoid? Maybe. Maybe not. We have gotten wary, and distrustful. As i thought about this decision, I drew this bonus art…
I’m depressed, and a bit upset.My co-teacher and I…we spent real time and elbow grease trying to forge a good school out of a failing one. over two years, the academic performance index went up about a hundred points…from below six hundred to almost seven hundred. We could see success from where we were.
Watching it fall down…it’s heartbreaking. I read “If”, by Rudyard Kipling, with my students on Monday, and it sticks with me. A part of it, at least…
By Rudyard Kipling
(‘Brother Square-Toes’—Rewards and Fairies)
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
Source: A Choice of Kipling’s Verse (1943)
Turning in that paperwork…it was like Cap turning in his shield and uniform in the Eighties. I can still keep doing the right thing, still fight the good fight…but without the colors, without the iconography. It’s the same…while not being. There’s a sense of failure, of missed opportunity. Someone else will fill the Suit, just like in the comic in the Eighties, and you wonder if they will care enough, share your values, do the same job.
Just like the US Government owned Cap’s Shield and uniform…the District and pledge LA have the school, to do with as they will. just like Cap, my team and I have to soldier on for the right things, where and however we can.
In an interesting twist…my co-teacher and I got a contact for a job interview while I was writing this post. Those stone tablet resumes must have been pretty good.
Next Issue: The Seventh Day!