Friday, seventh period, screams ring out and I go running into a classroom. Not my own.
Not a minute later, it is over and it is time to clean up the chaos.
There are lots of things to say about the forty-five seconds or so of fighting that took place that it is hard to describe the aftermath. Shoes, earrings and weave scattered about the classroom, way too many people looking at us like were were exhibits at the zoo and the expectation that I automatically knew what to do next. I wanted to stay and comfort the senior who might have tossed her education out the door.
Instead, I gave my seventh period a quiz.
The two combatants were largely unhurt. I came out of Room 130 with a few scratches and a kick to the stomach. One of the student’s who intervened ended up dealing with the aftereffects of a punch to the face. It was a turbulent end to a largely uneventfully week.
The weekend was beginning to look like I needed a stiff drink and some quality time with my friend, Jim Bean. I ended up getting a nice long shower, an hour and a half drive to Lake Wales and a down home Southern dinner. There my problems didn’t have any traction and I was forced just to relax and let myself experience the here and now.
Bad things happen everyday. Friday, two students had their emotions erupted and the lava flow took over the science classroom. It could have been the start to a very bad weekend. I had already burnt my hand; the fight at the end of the day just seemed like the icing on a very dry cake.
Then I was given the gift of time. Time to decompress and not think. Not think about the papers that need to be graded or the repercussions for the students involved. There was time for me to take a deep breath. There was nothing I could do for the students after I gave my statement. Their fate is in the hands of administration.
I could be still recounting the fight, instead I am living my life.
I think I made the right choice.