Sunday, September 8, 2013

Iron Fences

This weekend we have been asked to create a 33-word story for the Trifextra challenge that includes the words, loft, crown, tether.  Not all that easy a task.

One of the reasons I found this challenge a bit tough is that, for me, it is the first week of school.  The easy days of sunshine and the endless hourglass have rudely given way to imposed schedules and myriad obligations for every member of my family.

I am teaching grades 1 and 2 this year.  I have thirteen students in my class.  As regular readers of my blog are probably aware, the students at my school come from a social housing complex and have borne witness to far too many things in their young lives.  Yet, the thirteen kids who now call me their teacher have been ridiculously good so far.  Here is a photo taken of most of us during the first morning of school on Tuesday.

All in all, despite watching the freedom of summer vacation receding in the rearview mirror of my life, I have to admit that the first week of school wasn't too bad.  When Friday ended and the kids had gone home, I felt satisfied with what we had accomplished during the week and excited for what lay ahead for the rest of our year together.  But then, I went home and received, what felt like, a heavyweight punch to the gut.  My wife asked what the reaction had been at school to the news story in that day's newspaper.  I had no idea what she was talking about.  No one had seen the paper at school, I suppose.  The article simply stated that the public was being informed that my school was closing at the end of the school year.  You can read the short news story here if you wish.

What can I say?  

Cheyenne, who you have come to know through her submissions last school year, is one of the students who will be affected by this announcement.  Putting a human face on an administrative decision is important, I feel.  I will be offered a job at another school for next year. Cheyenne and her friends and neighbours will be bused out of the area to a larger school across town. My school will be "re-purposed",  probably turned into upscale condos. That's what seems to happen to old schools these days around here.  The world will continue to spin, just as it always does, just spinning a little faster for the thirteen students who will come to school on Monday with a whole new set of questions for me.  I hope my answers suffice.

Here is my Trifextra entry for this weekend.

Iron Fences

My little school is closing.

The tether conjoining my students
To their poverty-rich circumstances
Remains firmly drawn.

The crown jewel: a penthouse loft,
Ringed by iron fences
to keep the children out.

All that I know right now is that my inner resolve to ensure that these thirteen kids get an awesome, amazing fucking final year in this building is at an all-time high!  If we have to go down then, we will go down with guns a-blazing!  And, when it is all said and done, perhaps, we will all look upon our summer vacation a little differently next year.