Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Middle School Life

Today at a local middle school, I was accompanying the 8th grade class I'm observing to the computer lab. I was bringing up the rear (not just a shot at my... um... "shapely" ass) when one of the male students approached me with a science question. Below follows a rendition of our conversation:

Boy: Miss Taylor, [Is 30 too old to be called "Miss?" Whatever, I'll take it] I have a science question.

Melissa (a.k.a. Miss Taylor): Then you are probably asking the wrong person, but ask me anyway.

Boy: If you have two magnets and you swirl them around a coil of wire, can you create electricity?

Melissa: Science is not my cup of tea, but I have to tell you that you are probably not going to make electricity that way.

Boy: Oh, because I think you can. I'm going to make a taser at home like that.

Melissa: I don't think you are going to be successful with the method you described. But in the case that you are eventually successful, I hope you don't plan on bringing your experiment to school.

Boy: No, I'm not going to bring it to school. But, I'm going to make 3 of them. One for small problems, like if someone says something messed up to me. One will be for if someone tries to mess with my friends. The big one will be for if people try to push me around, I'll use that one on their eyelids.

At this point, I began to ignore him, I've noticed that this is the method most often employed by teachers when students start rambling about anything other than the topic at hand. This is an at-risk school and the kids are pretty much out of control as far as behavior goes, so the teachers have a tendency to ignore them when they are off task or topic because nothing seems to work as far as modification or redirection.

But I have to say that it bothered me. He was talking like he gets bullied, but as I was observing him amongst his classmates, he really blended in with them. I never had the chance to talk to my supervising teacher about it. I wonder what my responsibility is in a situation like that. It's not like it was a bomb threat, but I felt like ignoring him was the wrong thing to do.

It's not even 10 p.m. and I'm exhausted and sore. I'd like to take a hot bath, but I'd probably fall asleep and drown. All I can think about is these kids, their horrible behavior, and what would make a kid feel like he had to invent a homemade taser.

Friday, October 6, 2006


I can officially count myself among the population of the Medicated. This was a little difficult to accept at first because it seems like people just take a pill for anything to modify everything and I didn't want to be like that. But, if it helps...

I've been told by my doctor to keep a journal to record not only my mental shit (I have got to stop swearing like a sailor, by the way), but any physical symptoms as well to better weigh pros and cons in evaluating the drug's effectiveness. As I've been journaling, I've noticed a lot of stress coming from my kids. I get so irritated so quickly and I control it externally, but it really bothers me that I get irritated in the first place. My kids are so great- they are well behaved, they have loads of personality, and it's not just me being a mom that allows me to say this, but I think there aren't a whole lot of people that wouldn't be proud to call them their own.

I've been so disturbed that I get so stressed out at the end of the day because of them, and even more disturbed that they should be a source of stress when it's not even close to being their fault. Sometimes I think they deserve so much better (although for the most part, I think they're just as lucky to have me for their mother as I am to have them for my children).

The weekend is here and it's Todd's weekend. I was so happy to get this time by myself, because my stress level was getting to the point of breaking and I fear that I won't be able to control it externally as well as I have. I hate that I yell at them so unnecessarily when I get to that breaking point.

When Todd came to pick them up, I watched them walk away with thier mini suitcases rolling behind them. I am grateful to have a weekend to myself (don't even get me started on how much homework I have to do), but it kind of broke my heart watching them go. I'm a mother that values my time away from the kids, so it's not that I feel incomplete when they are not at home. But watching them walk away, I became a bit overcome by so much at once: pride, loneliness, fear, and pure, unconditional love.

What I am trying to express is this: I hope that the medication helps alieve some of the stress and sadness; however, let it never take away the moment I experience when watching my children walk away.