All I can do is write about what happens, in the hope that one day something will become clear and I’ll know what to do. Sometimes I feel like I’m being swept over a waterfall… leap of faith. I remember a dream I had a long time ago, of a waterfall, with a big hand pushing; and a deer standing to one side, watching.
Tuesday 4th August, 2009:
Today I’m instructed by Tau, who explains that ‘KS’ means, variously: ‘Killin’ Styles’, ‘Krunk Squad,’ ‘Kronik Smokers,’ and (to rival crews) ‘Kock Suckers’. He just tells me all this in conversation. And later, Simeon informs me that ‘SSC’ stands for ‘South Side Crims’ (which I can well believe).
So it keeps making sense, and the more I know the more sense it makes. And there’s a lot I don’t know, obviously. I’m just saying that my mind has taken something of a leap of faith – yes, that’s what it is. Faith is a weird way to describe it, when Argos hits the atlas box with AMANI $$C. I don’t have a clue why I have faith in them, except that there’s nothing else about the place to have faith in; only in the kids who resist it as much as I do.
I calmly do have faith in them, because they tell it like it is, they don’t bullshit me, they refuse what school offers them… and therefore I actually love and appreciate the tagged atlas box, not to mention the using up of all my spare paper this morning. I am at least appreciative, and am occasionally able to smooth their way a little bit.
Faith in them… even in Aperamo, who says, “You know what the biggest problem with me is, Miss?”
“My mouth,” he says, making me laugh cos it’s so true.
Argos and Tau ‘have to go sort something’ at interval. They tell me trustingly, as out of the school they stroll:
“Just stuff going down.”
“Can’t talk about it yet.“
But at least they’ve resolved their own differences. Argos comes in at the start, and looks at Tau and I say, “You and Tau all good now?”
He says, “Kind of…” and then, “What did he tell you?”
“Just that he didn’t take your iPod.”
Argos nods, and they watch one another like cats for a while before sitting up the front of my room together, companionably it appears.
God, I don’t know anything, I don’t know much about anything. I’m tired, and I have maybe ten minutes to eat my sandwich at interval, I have no break at lunch, and I still can’t get stuff even finished, and oh school tears me to bits, sometimes.
But I thought about it quite a lot over the weekend. When did I cross over from just observing things to also becoming a participant in this campaign?
And I know in my heart when I stepped into no man’s land. It was the day that I ‘rescued’ Argos from the library, calmly got him out to a place of safety. That was the step that felt different. For the first time not responding to a request for help, but offering it freely. He didn’t even know he was in danger until I had led him past the sentries. I saw that he was about to be sprung, and I managed to extricate him from the situation by playing my cards very close to my chest, so that only Argos was aware of my real intentions – and even he wasn’t too sure to begin with.
“Are you gonna phone the DP’s?” he quietly asked me as we walked to my room.
I said, “No, of course not,” almost abruptly (cos I was thinking of what to do and how to cover it), and he looked at me in surprise, as if he’d just registered that my mind wasn’t even wasting time on that one, but powering up fast.
I don’t know what else to add. Just that I’m on the boundary, constantly on the border now, walking that line back and forth, every day over and over again. And I have to trust my allies, cos I got no choice in the matter.
Oh fuck, two teacher only days on Thursday and Friday. Dread and fatigue; yawning boredom and infernal ‘participation’. Forced compliance, ‘ownership’ of the school philosophy: ‘confident, connected, life-long learners,’ or whatever drivel it is that we’re using as the catch phrase of the moment.