Halloween 2014: The Kiss of Death!

This year, I will be participating in Halloween activities at school.

This year, I will be participating in Halloween activities at school.

The art above was inspired by that, and by my general malaise toward the idea. I seriously want to provide fun and interesting activities to the students that are doing their work, and the students that are making a serious effort and/or turnaround. I’m not so fond of providing the same support to the students that are at times actively undermining my ability to help the group that actually WANTS what I have to offer.

Every day, the failure to supervise students creates a virtual chaos in the hallways of my building. Some teachers are at serious fault there, and certainly I only ever see one administrator walking those halls. Students turn the area into a disruptive “No man’s land” that makes legitimate instruction impossible.

Tomorrow, that same lack of supervision will be applied to students school wide, who wish to participate in the various activities of the day. What provisions are being made to contain and quarantine disruption? To supervise events? I don’t actually know, which is scary, since I am actually handling one of the activities tomorrow.

In South LA, students cannot wear costumes to school. They cannot wear masks, nor can they come to school in make up. A team of my students, and myself, are going to be painting students’ faces with various “Day of the Dead” patterns and stencils…in an attempt to be both fun, and culturally sensitive. After all, we did no assemblies or events for the Latino Heritage Month, with about three quarters of our school being Latin American. The least we can do is have some sort of festive face paint, right?

I drew the art above while I was depressed about the course of the week. I had been desperately working to attempt to raise the level of intellectual discourse in my classroom, while madness happened in the halls outside. It became impossible, and the composition arose from that frustration.

During meetings later in the week, I drew the art below. It is more founded in the practical, the idea that a small group of aggressive Haters will somehow ruin the activities for all, enacting a campaign of “terror” that prevents the best being maximized for the largest number.

Yep.  Haters gonna hate.

Yep. Haters gonna hate.

I’m hoping that things go better than I expect. I have a fun and functional costume for me, as well as a Pumpkin Themed Halloween Pony to accompany me. In the art, it is more of a Witch Pony, which was the initial plan. When we discovered the Pumpkin Suit, the November Pony clearly needed to wear it. Even with that, I can’t say for sure that I think the day will unfold as is intended, or best.

It’s mildly sad that we don’t have the campus supervision to ensure that students will have a safe and positive day. I’m not just speaking about Halloween, either.

Next Issue: GATE Training!

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