The image above is from the bottom part of my new license plate holder. It's embossed in my school's colors, and features one of my patented (or soon-to-be trademarked, I hope) Scribe-isms. When life gives us lemons, some of us make lemonade. And when one of my cherubs starts a classic meltdown, I usually give no quarter in the sympathy department.
"It's only high school," I'll say to the offending pupil.
"Tell that to my parents," he'll say. Yes, high school does not discriminate when it comes to self-imposed pressure.
"Gladly," is my usual rejoinder. And I will. Well, not in so many words. But putting things in perspective usually diffuses the situation, making the crisis-at-hand that much more manageable.
I've come to a crossroads in my career. After 18 years in the same building, I chose to keep going this year. While many with my age and experience have long since fled to greener pastures, I'm still in Room 215, dealing with nitwits who would rather snap self-portraits on their iPhones than analyze a sonnet, or hang out on the smelly couch in the Journalism Office next door than crop a photo.
But they're not all like that, which is why I keep coming back.
I've been gone from this space since early October. It's about time I returned, to regale my audience (such that it is) with tales from the trenches. It's all too true: Teens can be terrors, but they can be pretty terrific, too. I'm not going anywhere; there's too much material yet to mine.
I can't promise that I'll post regularly, but I'll try to contribute as much and as often as I can to the online discourse. When something perturbs and outrages (when I get PO'd - Get it?) me, I'll make sure to alert you. Likewise, when I uncover a splendid nugget of wisdom, I'll try to pass that along, too.
Yes, I still have too many papers to grade. And of course, the occasional administrator makes me want to snatch myself bald-headed. The real gems, however, are the diamonds-in-the-rough who are brilliant and don't yet know it.
I've reached the point where I don't care to sweat the small stuff. After all, it's only high school.