Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Add it to the list of icky sounds

So, yesterday at lunch, I was was sitting with some faculty. Notice, I said I was sitting with them, not having lunch with them. It was all men, they've all known each other for a LONG time so I was just eating near them so I didn't look pathetic sitting at a table alone. AND they did ask me to join them, so I did. But teacher"cliques" is a post for another day.

Oh, and I should also say that the kids at this "prison school" where I'm teaching eat with their house parents and the other kids in their house, each house assigned to one table area. The kids can't mix with other kids. Furthermore, boys and girls are separated. So the cafeteria is gigantic with the north end full of boy tables, the middle with staff and faculty, and the south end full of the girl's tables. And houses can have anywhere from 6-15 kids. So the ratio is about that many kids to two house parents per table.

So I'm sitting there in the middle, when a boy's table, straight across from me, I don't even have to turn my head to see anything, it's right IN FRONT OF ME, has a "situation". What I see is one boy abruptly stand up, with his chair flying out behind him as he yells at another kid sitting across from him, "You fucking want a piece of me?"

Apparently the kid being yelled at, must have made a remark that made the standing kid even more angry because he drew back his fist and PUNCHED the sitting kid in the face.

It made a loud thwacking sound, like punching a watermelon really hard. (Like the dude who used to kick watermelons in the Ginsu knife commercials? You remember that sound?) And sickening flesh upon flesh smacking smushy icky sound. The kid hit him. Really, he just punched him right in the face, reaching over the dinner table full of tray of ribs and scalloped potatoes, he smucked the other boy in the face!! At lunch! Damn heathens.

And know what? Most kids didn't even see it happen, most adults didn't pay attention, the kids at that table scooted back from the table, holding their food trays and eating and watching. Kids at the surrounding tables were watching and still carrying on conversations. The house parents were moving and holding back the hitter and the nurse came over to collect the hitee, who had blood gushing down his face. Did I mention lunch was BBQ rib sandwiches?

I don't think I've heard seen and heard someone hit someone else like that. Or at least make that sort of sound when it happened. And to have a room full of people barely flinch. It's scary to find out what can become "the norm".

Oh, and I didn't finish my lunch,


Jacalyn @ said...

Sounds like an interesting day a school! I agree, it seems like violence is becoming the norm! When did that happen???? Hope today is better!


Shan said...

OMGoodness me!!! Now you are in hard core academia!! I was imagining your school to be like the one my youngest goes to-where the kids go with discipline problems or coping problems for a while for extra therapy and small classrooms. This really does sound like prison school. Your going to want to start calling it "The Island" (as in Alcatraz) or "Shawshank" or something.

Poor troubled kiddos. Glad you are bringing your sunny personality to them just in time for summer.


Anonymous said...

well that was a wild and 'wack-y" story....pardon the pun!

i would surely flinch if I were there! yikes!

ciao bella
thanks for coming in to see me!

creative carmelina

A beautiful Sinner said...

My mother works in a high school guidance office, so she knows about both the teacher cliques and the fights. Schools are strange places...

We still have a few of our ginsu knives, and I think one of them is the paring knife. The bread knife might be one as well...Those things last forever!

sam said...

Hi Maggie,

I couldn't be a teacher. No patience.


Maggie said...

Jaclyn- I know- I wonder about our society. I want to do something, but I;m not sure where to begin.

Shan- I am so gonna start calling it Shawshank!!!! And thanks for the comment about my "sunny" side. I'm working on it!

Carmelina- I flinched. Twice. and was still having the "heebie jeebies" hours later.

Beautiful Sinner- schools are a strange place for sure, from top to bottom. Though yesterday's incident not withstanding, I would rather chill out with the kids.

sam/P- I don't think I can be a teacher either...

Wiley said...

It's a shock when you realise how easy it is to push people - anyone and everyone - to do... well, unspeakable things.

It never quite leaves you, either.
Glad you didn't witness anything worse.