I was not the greatest kid. My parents were 20 when they had me and by the time they were 22 they had 3 boys. They worked. A lot. When I was about the age of the kids I teach, maybe a little older, I fell in with the local, high school, punk rocker kids. They thought it was amusing, I guess, to show me their ways. This included some minor shoplifting and then taking the pilfered candy and cigarettes behind the store we stole them from and indulging on our haul whilst riding our bikes up and down a usually empty retention pond like the California punks did in empty swimming pools. I believe the statute of limitations must have expired by now. If not I request to be tried as a minor.
This sets up why, I think, I always had such a strong urge to go the other way when I saw a police officer later in life. After I was done with petty theft but wasn’t always on the up and up as far as the law went. Underage drinking and such. But even if I wasn’t doing anything particularly wrong my body chemistry would change when faced with a badge. I did have a few occasions to deal with police, sometimes while under the influence, and became sort of a go to in my friend group when such a conversation had to come up. So I was good at it, I just didn’t like it. Even now, when the closest I come to breaking any laws is that I have a bit of a lead foot, and have multiple friends who are cops, I get a little flashback panic when leaving Target or the Jewels.
Which, I suppose, is why I worked today. It was International SEL day, and a Friday. And I had to leave for part of the day earlier in the week (was it this week?) to help my son out with a situation. Last night something hit me like a truck. Vomitous and neverending shivers. My bones, as it were, seemed frozen. I put myself to bed around 8:30, setting my alarm hopefully to take my son to his early morning lifting program at the high school. I made it through the day. With it being SEL day I knew I had some fun stuff planned, and I didn’t want to have to make sub plans. With our building always pulling people from everywhere to cover, I didn’t want to put that on anyone last minute. I know people have emergencies. I know it is within every right for a teacher to call out, even last minute. So if you’re reading this and have done that, I promise, this is not an attack on you. I should be able to do that. I know. But I had just left last minute a few days ago to be with my son. And it’s Friday. I know I’m an adult, but it’s that old cop worry thing. Had I “called in” when I woke up a sweaty mess at 3 AM, someone would’ve thought I was faking to extend my weekend. In my head, anyway.
I made it through. I stayed far away from everyone and kept my mask on. No puking (not that there’s anything left in there) or coughing or fever or anything. Just the exhaustion my body is feeling from fighting the good fight. I usually enter the weekend all planned up for next week and with this weird sick fog I’m dealing with that isn’t the case. My kids won’t like it, but it’s about to be a catch up weekend. I have a mountain of stuff to catch my son up on, school-wise, as well as my own stuff. And I will hopefully catch up on the rest I probably should’ve snagged today.
“The dust and the screaming
The yuppies networking
The panic, the vomit
The panic, the vomit”