Wednesday, September 27, 2006

My apologies

I know that I have been remiss on posting this week. I have barely had the energy to eat dinner each night when I get home. Don't worry though. B&N are still eating. They are my first priority when I walk through the door.

Last weekend was great. Drummer Boy is the kind of guy that I might have otherwise have blown off. Luckily age has taught me to give those kind of guys a chance because they usually turn out to be the best. He ended up getting lost on Friday night but luckily I like Google Maps but even better. I can describe the landmarks you should pass along the way.

Saturday morning was a trip to Saul's. As the food hit the table, I suddenly remembered that I should have brought a camera of some sorts. I ended up having the eggs and smoked salmon. As an afterthought I added a potato latke. Then it was off to stare at the wonders that are Andronico's wine and cheese aisles. Over a bottle of red, we perused my vinyl collection. Apparently some of them may be worth some serious money. (Note to self: Raid boxes at mom's house over the weekend for more priceless vinyl. Now before you chastise me, she told me that I was welcome to take whatever I wanted from those boxes. Ummmm, no. I did not mention to her the potential value of what the boxes contained.) It's been a long time since I've been able to have a conversation who is as excited about music as I am. When I confessed to my five years of formal piano lessons (I continued to play for years later and yes, the lessons were my idea.), he was able to call me out on my deep dark vinyl secret.

"You own some Barry Manilow, don't you?"

I guess I should have contained my excitement over Elton John and Billy Joel. What made him drool though were the LPs in my collection that are "on loan" from my dad. Kind of in the same way my dad borrowed my Sarah Vaughan CD that I replaced a few years ago. Apparently the Coltrane may be important as it was recorded by the same guy who did Ray Charles's stuff -- the same guy who came up with four-track and later eight-track recording. (I have mentioned before that I am a geek, didn't I? How else do you think that I get into the cool parties? A little geek mixed with diehard liberal mixed with a pretty good fashion sense -- deadly combination if you ask me.) Then I broke out an old Stevie Wonder.

"Yes, it's an original and not a re-release."

There was also the fun of, "Why yes, that is Run DMC but can you tell me the album? What?!!! You have never heard of Whodini?" Sorry but I am starting to think that there should be a mandatory class in old school somewhere along the way. I still have not recovered from the eighth graders a couple of years ago who told me that Run DMC was the first rap on radio. I guess I made a mistake in buying that 12 inch in 1979 of "Rapper's Delight." And a few other selections from Sugar Hill Records as well. OK. So you only heard "Rapper's Delight" on "Black" radio as well as the other fine folks from Sugar Hill. Then Blondie did a little song called "Rapture" and suddenly rap was soon to be everywhere. Forget that Gil Scott Heron did a song called "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" at least a decade earlier. Time for me to take a breath and stop my rant.

So that sums up my weekend. Then it was back the reality of the kids. And they have been trying me this week. I had thought of heading out tonight but I was hungry and I knew that B&N were too. Once we were all fed, I just didn't have the energy to move. Take that back. I did. I just didn't have the energy to walk -- and my car was parked in a really good space. Then again, if I had gone out, I would not be writing this post now.

I did not want to go out tonight because I was feeling beat up. Instead, I wanted to celebrate. I have this student who everyone agrees is challenging. The first day she showed up to class, she kicked off her shoes and put her feet up on her desk. Yes, you just read that right. Everyone could see the potential in her but no one has been able to reach her to date. Apparently I have worked some kind of magic. This afternoon I told the math coach that the student had asked me for some index cards yesterday; she wanted to make some multiplication flashcards. The math coach asked if she had made the cards in front of everyone else and was shocked when I said, "Yes." The math coach then went onto explain something that I should have seen. This girl never likes to show her weaknesses.

I know she lives in a tough neighborhood and would never be able to survive there if she did. I should have recognized that. I had plenty of exposure to that growing up -- not in my immediate neighborhood but at my high school and the areas near my neighborhood. I should have recognized the swagger, the talk. So the math coach and the other fifth grade teacher complimented me today on providing this student with a place in which she felt safe enough to drop her guard, to be vulnerable. My reaction to hearing this? I kept on talking because I wanted to cry. I have gotten somewhat better over the years at accepting compliments. They are kind of surprises to me because most of my life I have heard that I am not good enough. (My mother has recently relented and started to tell me how proud she is of me. Too little, too late. I have learned to look for the bad -- specifically in how I am wrong. I assume that is a large part of my love of the party lifestyle. People who love me unconditionally. And why I should have realized who my student is -- me 30 years ago. Just a broken little girl looking for someone to love her, to accept her for who she is. And that's why I felt like crying.) But crying is a sign of weakness, isn't it? And me? I'm not weak so I will never allow others, especially at work, to see my weaknesses. Not that I have any. Because as future Empress of the Universe, I am perfect. And as such, maybe I can teach her that it is OK to let people in sometimes. Even if they might end up hurting you. Because sometimes they don't.

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