Every now and then, there’s a kind of ‘simplicity’ to a day, just one day among many; perhaps a day in which the usual complexities seem not to be as evident – or just not as important. I tell myself it could always be like this. If I could just live with the contradictions.
Thursday 25th June, 2009:
Tired, this morning. But as soon as I get to school I have to stop thinking about that… I have the year 10’s, and if you don’t focus with them, you’re gone.
Anyway, things are fine once we get started. Riley and Simeon are working – and Levi – but he’s tried to be the man a bit – at the start – and taken a while to get round to it. By the end of class he’s working too, but slowly. “Miss, I’m tired.” he tells me.
“I know,” I say, “But it’s tiring teaching you sometimes.”
“Is it?” he says, and I see his eyes flicker and register. He says, awkwardly, “Sorry, Miss…” and looks at me. “I am,” he says, with a little surprise. “I’m sorry. I want to do the work – I meant to.”
“Yeah… yeah,” I say, laughing, and Riley says, suddenly, “He’s being caring, Miss,” and Levi smiles, nods.
I let them borrow the books, to finish off. Levi comes back, later. He’s almost finished everything, just needs a little help. “What’s ‘capital’?” he asks, and I explain, and he says, “Ohh… I thought that’s what it was,” and then, “What was the other question you wanted us to do?” and I tell him.
“Ok – I’ll do it!” he exclaims and runs off with his book.
Then 11 Soc. I’ve fully got that class back, I think. Today Dimario brings out a brand new book, opens it up, and “Look, Miss,” he says, stroking the new, fresh paper with his hand, “I’m ready to learn.” And all class, he and Alexander work, work.
I spend more time with them than anyone else – I don’t care – I give them all the spare moments. Alexander calls me over with that directness I’ve grown to expect and love. He calls, “Miss!” with the utmost faith, no matter what I’m doing. I’m talking to Rachel and Candy, and I hear Alexander say, “Miss? Is electricity one?”
“Electricity – is it a response, I mean. To restore power – after a disaster?” he just interrupts, with a polite tone.
I say, “Yes, it is. Just hold on – I’ll be there in a minute.”
When I get over to them, he’s saying to Dimario– “What did you write for the short term response?”
They both look at me and grin.
“I’m gonna get an Excellence,” Alexander tells me, only partly in jest.
They are trying so hard today, probably as hard as I’ve ever seen them try. For this I so admire them: the way they’ll bring it back, and just try not to fall. And they know they’re gonna be given my support; Dimario and Alexander – because I don’t want to see them fall either.
While I’m teaching year 10 this morning, Nio appears at my door. He’s wagging, and just want to say hello.
“What class is that, Miss?” he asks. “They are working, aye?”
“Yup, they’re working,” I agree (they are, today)
He looks through the window, “That one’s the best,” and he points to Simeon.
“Yeah – he’s good,” I say.
“But Levi… he’s a little fag,” drawls Nio, and it makes me laugh.
Nio asks later, “Miss, can I borrow that DVD?”
I remember Project, and say, “Yes, of course you can,” and he looks at me. “Come and get it at the end of the day,” I tell him. He looks so pleased to see that I meant it..
“Don’t lend it to anyone else,” I say to Nio, when he returns during 11 Soc (still truant from God knows where).
“I won’t,” he assures me, “It’ll be safe – I won’t even tell anyone I’ve got it.”
Dimario sees what’s changing hands and says, “Man! You should be careful.”
“Nah – it’s ok” I tell him. And it’s strange – but I don’t want to be careful. I really feel happy to lend it to Nio.
So it’s a good day, all in all!