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Morning at Dearborn

July 4, 2012

Here is another of my school blogs. Sorry if you’re looking for furniture entries. For some reason, i seem to have education on my mind. Not being at work seems to allow me more time to think about what i do when i’m there.

Every morning, the vans carrying our students arrive and fill the fire lane in front of our school. The high school students are allowed to leave the vans and the congregate around the school’s front steps with the couple of staff assigned there from shortly before 8 to 8:15 when the first bell rings and the high schoolers may enter the building. The elementary and middle school students are required to stay on their vans until 8:20 when DJ, a counselor and official bell ringer, rings the handbell. Then all the students leave their vans at speeds varying from hustle to shamble, and in various states of alertness from caffeinated chipmunk to sleepy zombie. The moment the bell is rung the drivers start their engines and are off. When DJ has morning meetings or is otherwise unavailable, I often act as substitute bell ringer. (Study his technique as I might, I have yet to duplicate his unvarying bell tolling quality, but that is neither here nor there.) One morning I was substitute Quasimodo, and was waiting for the appointed time. But on this morning, rather than my cell phone, I had my analog watch. At 8:18 and 30 seconds (by my watch) all the students began to leave their vans and all the vans started their revving their engines. “I haven’t rung the bell yet!” I shouted. Raising their cell phones in unison, the students and drivers alike shouted back, “IT’S 8:20!” I held my ground – for 30 seconds – and rang the utterly superfluous bell at 8:19 by my watch. It was there and then that I realized that DJ and I shared the same delusion as the rooster who thinks the sun rises only when he crows.
Speaking of morning rituals, as I’ve mentioned we greet our students each morning as they enter the school, whether outside the building or on the way to their classrooms or, as classroom teachers, when they enter their classrooms. I always imaging we are fishing. We say, “Morning!” They shrug our stare blankly ahead. We try different bait. “Wow, I like those shoes. Are they new? Did you see the game last night? Nice haircut. Looking good!” And then a kid says, “Thanks”, or “No, what was the score?” You try to continue the conversation, but we work with very light tackle and the line frequently snaps. It’s okay though. Like they say, “A bad day fishing beats a good day at work.”

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 17, 2012 4:32 pm

    Let me start by thanking you for reading my post. I know that people kill one another with all the other items you mentioned. We also regulate most of them. Some of these deaths are intentional, most are not. Yet no one would suggest the unregulated use of automobiles (from manufacture, to licensing, to traffic regulations). More importantly, i don’t really know how well this society would function without any of the things you mentioned. As much as i’d like to live in a world without cars, it’s not going to happen. Could we live without fertilizer, hammers, or knives? I don’t think so. Alcohol is in a special category. Plenty of people do fine without it, but society as a whole has already experienced prohibition, and it didn’t go well (particularly with all the guns that were around.) But when i ask myself if we could live without high-powered assault rifles, i have to say, yes. Again, i’m not saying no to guns, just no to anything more powerful or deadly than the founders intended when they wrote the Second amendment.

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