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2009-02-18 - 7:43 p.m.

What a couple of months it has been. I'm currently in Seattle to get away from Brooklyn and the near-constant guilt associated with relaxing, not working, and/or enjoying myself. When it gets to that extreme, I have to get out, get away, runaway with me, my love.

The loss of my romantic life has led to my teaching life taking over everything--eating all of the food in the heartcupboard, putting its feet up on the coffee table, leaving all the lights on, calling when i'm asleep. I need an outlet for all this energy instead of channeling it all through my kids which leads to things like crying in front of my kids because I worry about their safety so much. I will say one thing: there is something beautiful about crying in front of a bunch of 14 year olds that never see men cry, especially when it comes to the issue of their safety and well-being. We'll see if this leads to any kinds of long-term effects in a positive way with the mutinous Brooklyn youth I call my kids.

I've decided to start a unit on the idea of violence with my kids, given the fact that it's a theme rife with entry points for my kids and a lot of the literature I could teach them ties into the idea of communities of youth violence. This is both a great and terrible idea because it leads to things like me crying in front of them.

It's great for things like this:

I gave the kids a small safety survey at the beginning of class that asked a number of questions about safety and one of the primary questions I asked was, "Do you feel safe at school? Where do you feel most safe?" As I was explaining the question, a student, Edgard, who has a propensity for blurting out any thought that comes to his mind in the midst of me talking, yelled out, "I feel most safe in your class, Mr. Lynch."

Symone, a sassy, scar-faced student who I adore for the fact that she stands up to me when I do something wrong, yelled out, "Shut up, Edgard! This ain't Freedom Writers."

How could you not want to turn all of these kids into teddy bears and snuggle with them forever after hearing something like that? HOW COULD YOU NOT?

I am hoping the next few months treat me right. This also means I need to stop working and worrying about my kids 24 hours a day. Sometimes a boy just needs to make out and right now that boy is me.



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