Thursday, November 09, 2006

Apathy Jack writes:

Overpowered by a tidal wave of solipsistic ennui, I've decided to miss my kids' graduation dinner. Right now, a pack of young people I've known and cared about for five years are saying their official goodbyes. Instead, I bussed into town and bought the new Henry Rollins book. (Yes, that is good for my mental health. Why do people keep asking that?)

School's been hard this year. Harder than normal. All of the teachers - even those whose enthusiasm puts my meagre efforts to shame - are counting down. Part of the problem (caused by the hardships, but also contributing to them, if you get me) is that the students have, en masse, given up. I've just about made my peace with that. Not the most idealistic statement, I know, but even the Deputy Principal with oversight of student matters has admitted that the endemic wagging and in-class apathy is too big a problem to do anything about. Like I say: we're all counting down. We'll start afresh next year. But yeah, bad day with my Year 13s, so I couldn't face a dinner with them.

Of course, my mind keeps wandering back to the drama assessment I watched today. The kids had to take a pre-existing play and script an extra scene, which they then had to perform. One of my lot (who I've written about before) performed a piece she had written based on The Good Person of Schezwan, in which she had the lead earlier this year. Set twenty years after Brecht's original, her scene showed Shen-Te as a broken woman living in abject poverty, having lost her shop and surrended her son to the Gods to spare him the corruption of the world. Hungry and dejected, she begs passers-by for assistance, not out of any sense of entitlement, but because of her desperate need to convince even one person that helping the needy is the right thing to do.

I sat there trying to fight back the tears, amazed at the words she had written and the passion with which she delivered them.

These kids piss me off royally sometimes. Hell, they get me so disheartened that I feel comfortable using phrases like "tidal wave of solipsistic ennui" in posts. But just sometimes, I find myself so moved, sitting next to others who aren't as emotionally dead as I am, who have tears streaming down their faces.

Not all bad.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thats magic