The Ecosystem of the Edu-Mountain.

The basic wildlife of the Edu-Mountain.

The basic wildlife of the Edu-Mountain.

Last year, we had a Squirrel King, as one of the characters at the Edu-Mountain. That teacher was pretty much never intended to be around for very long, and his giant suit was filled by other teachers. Despite his asbence, the campus still has numerous squirrels on it…although those squirrels obviously have no King.

The wildlife of a school in Los Angeles is actually usually composed almost entirely of insects. The requisite roaches, with their vaunted endurance of all forms of elimination. My classroom features mosquitoes as well, and no small quantity of house flies. I’m able to keep the mosquitoes at bay, or at least managed, via a candle that they seem to hate, but all told, the war against the Insect Kingdom is definitely being lost at my school site.

Sitting in a long staff meeting today, I drew the poor, stressed out looking Squirrel above. Sure…he has that one acorn, and it seems pretty huge. The tree seems nice. The fact is though….he isn’t super evolved, and he doesn’t have any equipment made from tenurite. He’s just a squirrel, and one that lives primarily off of a diet of school lunches, discarded bags of Cheetos and various forms of Gatorade. I was actually thinking about what it must be like to be a city squirrel, constantly avoiding cars and other mechanical menaces, and intaking caffiene in quantities unknown to other rodents. Sure…you have no natural predators…but at the same time, it seems like a kind of stressful existence.

I am not a Nature Person. Not by any means. But sometimes I see one of these little guys, and I feel sympathy for their existence. Heck…our campus is nice…it has “green spaces”, and the custodians keep it fairly clean. I’ve definitely seen much more stressed out, sickly squirrels on other campuses.

At my first school, there were Alligator Lizards. Little guys that would come out at different times of year. There were also stray cats, and of course the requisite squirrels. Add in the insects, and the school had the most diverse animal population that I have ever seen…with seagulls and even a hawk that were frequent to the area. And of course, pigeons and roaches. Quite the Wild Kingdom.

The Edu-Mountain…not too far away in South East Los Angeles, has only the little Sparrows one sees in the city, and those in very small supply. Squirrels, of course, and then legions of insects. Someone more interested in the relationships of these things would have a more intelligent assessment of why this might be. Perhaps precisely because the campus is cleaner…there’s less to eat? I don’t know. All that I do know, is that the Edu-Mountain is a more rigidly controlled, restricted ecosystem.

I haven’t really ever done posts about “School Climate”, which is what we call the physical school itself. I might do a future series of posts about that topic, since in the absence of conflict…I NEED more school topics.

Or maybe…just maybe that squirrel is so stressed out because grades are due, for the ten week report card. Perhaps he’s a metaphor for the student who knows they are about to get a D or an F, and is hoping that the one assignment turned in at the last minute will somehow “save the grade.” Certainly, that would be the “Hail Mary” pass for the poor Edu-Squire who hasn’t super evolved themselves all semester.

It could be that, as well.


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