Faces of Darkness.
It has been hard staying silent.
A great deal isn’t working right on campus, before day one. Darth is being very optimistic, as always, and with the large number of new and young teachers present, I am loath to undermine him. Still…we are two days from opening, and there are many things up in the air that should be locked down. From bell schedules to curriculum to classroom management protocols…a huge amount is up in the air.
Still…Darth has a chance to start over. I’m not going to poison the well, as it were, with negativity, nor am I going to dissent with opinions that I have expressed before. There are several things that seem to be…poor thinking to say the least, that I had previously warned against. That advice was usually perceived as insubordination, and already having given it, I see no reason to repeat myself. Quite the opposite, it is a relief of my problems to shut my mouth, and let the chips fall where they may. I imagine that a great number of those chips will fall, actually.
Yesterday was particularly odd. It’s pretty well known that I like Soccer, and that last year I ran a league for the Seventh Graders who loved the game, but were being bullied. With no preamble, Darth approached me, with the proposal of a school wide tourney named after me. Clearly, this was intended as an olive branch, as a meeting of the minds to make peace. Totally unprepared for it, I didn’t know what to say, as Darth grinned a toothy grin down at me.
In truth, I had intended to run a league on Fridays. Mostly because i love it. Still…given my “stay out of my way, I’ll stay out of yours” deal…this made me NOT want to do it at all. Which is sad, because it was intended as peacemaking, and I do love it. The taste had gone sour, because really, I wasn’t ready to hear it from the source yet.
A number of my friendships on campus are suffering due to the scuttlebutt on campus as well. It is disheartening, especially given the state of affairs. Not intervening, letting things unfold as they would without my action, without my anger…it is hard.
Where the first page might be too harsh, this second is indicative of the realities. I’ve always fought for students first, then staff…in the classroom, the boardroom, and the courtroom. Right now, the most important thing, and also the hardest, is to endure, and let things happen. Evil triumphs when good men fail to act, of course. Still…in the past, my actions, as hard as they were, protected everyone. Even when investigations into health violations had happened, they were before anything BAD had taken place. I tried to be like Superman, stopping the bad before anyone was hurt.
Today…I heard very clearly how much people have vilified me for that. I stood next to a person who said, point blank, that negative statements abounded about me, despite that fact that “when you need someone to fight for you, you’re looking at the person to do it.” Even the people that I protected, while cheapening my own powers, talk trash about me. It was saddening.
Still, it also validated my current plan. The current plan is long game method…taking things “in stride” letting things go as they must, until a certain kind of crisis, a shatterpoint is reached. It’s tricky, because there are good people, and good students that I don’t want to have to endure a moment of badness, that I feel I will be failing. Still, Mr. Spock, a serious good guy, said clearly enough, “I have faith that the universe will unfold as it is intended.” Being not quite as clever as the legendary Spock, I need to trench in, and wait for the moment that I will be needed.
If it is hard for me, I can’t imagine what it is like for the numerous junior teachers that we have recently hired. They seem positive, much like Darth as he jokes for the staff and is personable. Still, they privately ask me what is expected, and look to me with trust for advice about things like curriculum and materials.
Very frequently, I have said, “I have no dog in that fight. Ask someone who does.” It stings, but it is the WAY. Much like an athlete has to lose games to learn to be a good sportsman, it seems that I can no longer prevent problems from happening…if I want those in charge to learn from their mistakes. It has come to my attention that I am a safety net of sorts…one that is deeply resented.
I now have to operate in a system where I am not the safety net. Instead of Superman, perhaps the emblematic character is the Punisher….a radical who holds others accountable to their actions, and uses the harshest of means to exact an “evening.”
We shall see.
Next Issue: Weekend Weirdness!