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Posted on 2009.02.12 at 23:32
I can't sleep despite the fact that I'm sick and exhausted. It's funny how a person internalizes the things that scare them most but hardly speak of them, while talking a great deal about the smaller matters as a distraction. I'm not sure what to call what I'm feeling...

Fear: was when I was paralyzed and could hardly make it to the car to drive to the doctor, knowing the test would tell me if I had breast cancer.

Sorrow: was the grief I felt when my friend George died just when his life was starting.

Anger: is what I felt when my brother began to live the injustices of this country.

None of those things are what I feel right now. I am a void and yet the emotions are too much for me to express. Fighting for some sense of security about my feelings I have come to some realizations.

* THIS is poverty. It has nothing to do with money. It has everything to do with the world we grow up in and what we are forced to cope with as we mature.

* No matter how many lives a teacher touches, you cannot protect students from their own lives. What is worse is that the students know this as well.

* I do not think you can understand what this is like unless you have experienced murder and gang retaliation/threats.

* This week I have learned just how important that bond between student and teacher truly is for students, and how it can pull students up from their lives even if just for a short time.

* I never dreamed I would have to make my students do something they were scared of, and pretend like everything was perfectly fine. They begged me not to return to school because they were afraid they would be shot between the bus and the building.

* Students do hear what you say, even if they pretend they don't. They also know if you are listening.

At festival today, my students did quite well given the circumstances. It wasn't our best performance, but they did a great job. While looking at them, between my own coughing fits, I noticed how tired they were compared to other groups. They weren't bored for the most part, but they are emotionally exhausted. And I realized I am as well.

The school is pulling together and the students are doing their best to cope, but as the counselor said, this is a terrorist situation. Our school is under attack and we all feel it. Knowing about it, reading about it, hearing about it pale in comparison to experiencing it. In fact I don't think there is any comparison.

Perhaps I am just too tired.

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