That was a big part of the challenge here. That, and the burning city that can be seen over the wall, the city that doesn’t look so different from Los Angeles. I wanted to get that stuff together, because it looks like in two and a half weeks I will have to go back to my school job. A school job that I loved for two years, maybe longer than that…and last year, became thoroughly disillusioned with. From where we had gotten, you could almost literally see a good school on the horizon, only for the tide to roll back, and take it away.
A significant number of my colleagues have left. I have an active transfer paper in, and have only gotten offers from schools in similar circumstances, who have no position for my co-teacher, the History Amazon. in light of that, it doesn’t make much sense to move on…but to hunker down, turtle up, and make the best of a bad situation.
Operation Gremlin Riderz (seriously, Google it) took place in that neighborhood this summer. It was a huge, multiagency gang crackdown that brought in dozens of gang members, weapons, and heaps of drugs. Still, the administration of my school insists that there is “no gang problem at our school” and that we are not on “disputed turf lines.” This wouldn’t be that big a deal, if the enforcement of the school uniform were better, to keep those problems off campus. I wonder how many degrees of separation some of my students were from the Gremlin Riderz, op, and worry about them.
The Magneto helmet on top of a decaying skull, glaring down? That’s kind of about my guilt here, True Believers. I would very much have liked to get out, or changed certain policies. Neither of those things happened. There’s still time to get out, and quite certainly, I won’t be standing for some of the kinds of discrimination that we got to see last year. I played hardball last year, and will this year when pushed…but it is tiring. On top of it…it sometimes seems pointless. For instance, there’s just no explaining to someone that really, really wants to ask the staff for an “Amen,” that he might be offending the atheist teachers, or the Jewish teachers, or violating the First Amendment. It’s an impossibility. Magneto would say that the good fight needs to be fought, but he was also kind of crazy, and wore a bucket head mask.
Me…I’m to the point where I don’t want it in my building, or to be compelled to deal with it. That’s all. A protectorate zone if you will. Still…even declaring a “no fly zone” for Darth, where he just shouldn’t interact with me or my team, seems a bit weak.
Then again, I’m also feeling a bit weak. See our hero’s cool looking brace? I have a matching cool looking brace, and don’t particularly love it. My knee is killing me, and only slowly getting better. A constant low veneer of pain, while considering the chaos in the neighborhood, the denial of our top officials, and the possible very personal attacks from Darth himself…
…truly, the horizons seem dark.
Still…Superman doesn’t throw in the towel, no matter how much Kryptonite there is. The X-Men are an even bigger minority than me, and they keep saving the world, even though the world doesn’t like them very much, and often literally has telethons led by evangelists to get rid of them (X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills). Batgirl is confined to a wheelchair, and is still a key superhero in the form of the computer mastermind Oracle.
When comics define your value system, you don’t get to throw in the towel. You just keep on changing clothes in dirty old phone booths until you work is through.
More upbeat post tomorrow, True Believers.