Things come in ‘threes’

I have just three days remaining in my second summer school teaching gig of the year, and after a year of turmoil as an (initially reluctant) substitute bouncing between twenty-four different schools and some sixty classrooms, I eagerly look forward to fall; one school, all year, teaching literature.

For now, though, I have three more days of teaching high school biology – remediation for some fifteen kids who didn’t pass the class during the year. Biology is not my forte, but we’re making it through, and there are only three more days.

This week we are discussing environments and biospheres. As part of that, their homework assignment Monday night was to document all they could about the biodiversity of their neighborhood and bring it into class today to begin working on an essay.

Of the twelve who turned in the assignment, only three listed ‘crackheads’ as being part of the biodiversity of their respective New Orleans neighborhood.

Only three more days.

What follows is a poem that I wrote a while back, but I think certainly has some applicability as my 2009 – 2010 school year grinds to a merciful close.

Down the hatch

The dominoes fall
like a house of cards

only noisier.

Hybrid clichés aside,
rationalizations wearily
made as a year of chaos
painfully, slowly draws
to a fumbled crescendo
of an ending,

speak eloquently.

There is nothing
left to give
even less to take

perhaps time will extract
the carefully aged, smoothly
distilled lessons fermented
into vintage wisdom

Someday I will raise a glass
of this vinegar while
making a grand toast to
simple survival.


One thought on “Things come in ‘threes’

  1. Pearl Nelson July 21, 2010 / 6:35 am

    My sister retired this year after 35+ years teaching – English Dept Head at a SoCalifornia HS. I never thought she’d retire but she’s had enough…of the school district’s BS. Bless you for continuing the fight. You really are part of saving New Orleans. I never miss reading your blog.



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