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from Peggy Senger Morrison and Alivia Biko.
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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

That None Should Perish

And then a Christmas miracle occurred...

There are not many legally tellable stories from The School on the Island of Misfit Toys, but this one I will tell.

About two weeks ago I started to clench and breath shallow. My anxiety rose day by day and hour by hour. This is not normal for me. I tried all my tricks, they did not work. I took it to the Silence, and I heard "Sometimes impending joy can cause as much fear as impending doom." I started looking for impending joy. Last Monday it occurred to me. There was indeed an impending miracle. I researched it like the Vatican Saint Checkers. It held up. But the time was not full and I had to wait. Waiting is hard.

What had dawned upon me was that I had not kicked any student out of school this fall for a behavioral issue. This is my most hated part of my job. Occasionally one of them need this lesson and when they do, I teach it, but it hurts my soul every time. But this fall? No, not one. Not in any of our programs. No serious threats, no weapons, no fights. No cussing out of teachers. No expulsions, not even a hearing to consider it. Behavioral contracts had been issued, but not one was broken. I had been so busy feeding the flock that I didn't notice that the wolves were striking out.

I saw this miracle coming in a translucent form. It would not fully manifest for another seven days. Seven days for some one to blow up. The sabotage of their own success is written into these kids scripts. Seven stressful days of finals and holiday build up. This group does not always relish the holidays. I watched them like a mother hen. I checked in with all the usual suspects. I am just superstitious enough that I felt I could not tell anyone.

Last Thursday I had to call the child abuse hotline, and write up two Title IX reports, but my lambs were victims, not perps. Then the GED building was out for break.

Monday the Day HS completion group was hours from going out when we caught a cheating scandal, but - Low and Behold! - they came clean and took their lumps and we kept them in. The Day School went out.

This afternoon was torture. I just took the radio out and walked. Mid afternoon I broke and told the Dean. She didn't believe me, I checked the attendance grids again. She said she couldn't remember it ever happening before.Tonight at 5:30 the Swing Shift School was having their sacramental crappy five dollar pizzas we always buy for the last supper. I told them. I also told them that they had only 2 hours to be really bad - they laughed and went and took their final exams.

I stood at the flagpole at 7:30 and watched the last one catch her ride.

And then I listened to the Angels sing.