Friday, January 09, 2009

Adrift in the Wilderness

There are certain compromises you have to make when your building is at 250% capacity. There are stairways and halls not taken, and you don't think back upon them wistfully, because you know quite well what would happen if you defied logic and traipsed on through. But some teachers defy both physics and logic and do what they damn please, thank you very much.

Yesterday, a colleague and I made the egregious error of wandering into a hall right behind the student cafeteria. There we were, just she and I, facing hundreds of kids. And each one was crazed with the prospect of a DoE frozen pizza, defrosted or otherwise.

"We made a big mistake," I told her. "We'll never make it alive."

"I'm from the Bronx," she retorted. "This is nothing."

It was sheer folly, I thought, but she motioned, and I followed. Now she's a small woman, short, thin, but certainly wiry. She moved quickly forward, moving her arms around in quick, deliberate motions. Kids moved to the left, kids moved to the right, and a path cleared before us.

There was only a moment before the path closed, so I had to follow closely, but we managed to get through the bustling crowd unscathed. I don't know what they teach out there in the Bronx, but as far as I'm concerned, it's the closest thing to a working miracle I've seen in some time.
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