Annie Ives is a jaded optimist. She tries to change the world. When she's younger, she substitute teaches in the New York public school system. As she ages, she loses her wide-eyed enthusiasm for bringing Charles Dickens into the lives of inner-city youth. It's a dangerous profession, trying to instill hope in kids whose homes are broken, sometimes irrevocably.
My wife was a substitute teacher for many years. When we first married, she subbed in inner-city schools in Kalamazoo. Some of the students were tough. Unwed mothers smelling of marijuana. Young men in gangs. It was dangerous work.
I have never had to face that kind of danger in the classroom. I've dealt with drunk students. Sleeping students. Suicidal students. Wildly out-of-control bipolar students. But I've never feared for my life. I care about my students. A lot. That's why I find grading so difficult. I don't want to see any of my "kids" fail.
Yes, I'm still grading, and I'm getting tired of it. But, as Robert Frost said, I have miles to go before I sleep. Miles and miles. So many miles, I should get frequent flyer credits.
Saint Marty needs to get back to his stack of final exams.
|This pretty much says it all|