Wednesday, May 10, 2006


As I started this post, I had to clear a space on WordPerfect and found my packing list for Texas. It’s the little things. I often wonder what it would be like to actually live there. Would I ever be at home or would I constantly crash the party at Brighton’s pad? I imagine sitting with my sister at my nephew’s ball games and maybe even Nate is playing, eating clay pot fish with Zelda and Jethro and teaching their girls to bead, clapping at Annie’s recitals, groping (Not So) tinyhands, making a road trip out to Kristin's. It’s where the friends are. Texas has the highest per capita ratio of Nanner friends. That is kinda sad, since I don’t actually live there. This weekend prepared me to return to reality. I found myself much calmer, happier, and infinitely less stressed. Hard to believe, I almost canceled my trip. Yes, I almost did. On Thursday morning, I received a call from Jeff, who was up in arms. After several months of relative quiet and cooperation he decided to go apeshit about my Texas trip. I’ll not get into the whys and what fors of what he said. It doesn’t matter now because when I called him later he apologized for taking his spite out on me. I don’t believe this has ever happened before. Even after I returned, he asked if he had been mean to me and I told him, "UH, YEAH!" There was medication and a lack of sleep involved in this scenario which, frankly, has happened before, but it was enough before this to make me seriously consider canceling. But before the second phone call I had already decided, "Fuck it, I’m going." Once arriving at Jeff’s to drop Nate’s clothes off, he handed me a piece of paper. It had a drawing of Nate’s classroom on it, desks, and little people with names on them, like scenes from a play. It was called, "The Best Day In Fourth Grade." It chronicled the children in Nate’s classroom setting him up to get in big trouble, the tattling, his teacher’s anger, Nate’s flight from the classroom, and the subsequent jubilation of his classmates and teacher to be rid of him. Needless to say, it was probably a good thing that I had to be on a flight at 6:30 the following morning or someone would have gotten an ass-whooping. Some "very bright" little girl decided to write this masterpiece at home, make copies, and distribute them to her classmates, including the brunt of her play, Nate, who brought it home in his book bag. The teacher never.saw.a. thing. Yet, as we pointed out on Monday, she sees every.little.thing.Nate.does. Jeff and I decided that we would think over what was to be done and address the issue together on Monday. Kristin probably got to see the brunt of the anger I had boiling inside of me as she and I discussed this over lunch in Kemah. Nate is by no means, perfect. I know he can be a little shit, after all, he is of my blood. He has complained about how the kids tattle on him, yet we have been assured by the school that everything that he does is witnessed by an adult. This masterpiece threw that into sharp relief as I wondered what they weren’t seeing or what they were selectively seeing. What little faith I had in the school, his teacher, and principal is gone. They had no good answers for our questions and deftly side-stepped our concerns about what was really going on in the classroom. After all, this was just a "portrayal," "fiction," what the fuck ever. I say it’s an accurate portrayal of what Nate has endured this year. His teacher wasn’t at school on Monday but the principal called her. Do you think she called one of us or came out and spoke to Jeff today about the situation? No, she fucking hid in her classroom and probably pouted because one of her "brightest" students was suspended for harassment. Our way of doing this was to contact the Board of Education (hereinafter "BOE") first. Yes, I got the hereinafters going on because we’re filing a formal complaint with the BOE against Nate’s principal and teacher for their treatment of him this year. I’m also consulting an attorney. Nate cannot help that he is ADHD, that he has seizures, that he’s dyslexic. He cannot help that he had to go off of his medication for an entire month. It certainly didn’t stop them from suspending him nor did it stop them from perpetuating a hostile environment or continuing the carnage. I say: THE CARNAGE HAS JUST BEGUN!
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