Paradise, or something like it?
While working for the Doubletree Hotel, I often didn't clock out until well past midnight. My teammates and I had to set up the conference rooms and breakfast meetings for the next day. Each night we worked past eleven, we would chat with a retired police investigator turned hotel security. "What's new, bro?" we would ask. "Another day in paradise...somewhere else," he would reply.
And so when my wife asked me about my day...well, it was another day in paradise.
My day started with my most challenging Corrective Reading class. This group has not bought into or accepted the reality of this scripted program. One student, J, has had to be removed four of the six times he's actually attended. He won't participate; he will argue if asked to participate. The only way to correct the reading of others is to exit the young man to the resource room. He's simply argumentative.
So today, when I asked him to turn around and face forward, he yelled, "Why are you starting with me? It's always me. J, turn around; J, this; J, that. I'm gonna call my mother and she's going to come down here."
"Okay. Call your mother," I say.
"No really, I will. I'm gonn call her," he commands.
"Good. Call her right now," my voice is calm.
"I said, Call Your Mother Right Now. And then, tell her I want to have a meeting....Really, take out your cell-phone and call your mother."
And he did. Thinking I wouldn't completely understand, he spoke in Spanish--well, his mom doesn't speak English, but... I continued to remind him to make sure mom understood that he wasn't participating, but that didn't happen until the meeting about two hours later when I had a translator with me.
The meeting was, well, who knows. Mom agreed with me, the problems between J and me will only go away when J stops arguing and participates the way the program demands.
I don't know if that was the right way to deal with J, but I am tired. I am exhausted by repeating myself all day because I teach one script three times and the other script two times. I am drained by the two classes whose students are yet to buy in and would rather refuse to give the choral responses. I am annoyed by the student who wants to purposely get things wrong just to piss the group off. I am weary from having to cheerlead the program when I'd rather be teaching an English class. So J had to "wear it" as we say in baseball.