Wednesday, January 18, 2012

When all you can do is dance...

The other day I wrote about a new assignment I'd been given at work... teaching life skills, its something I've always done, however, this go around has my class looking very different.

I normally run a fun cooking class...this time the class must cover other life skills topics.

New County requirements have adjudicated youth attending at least one class, at all times, the entire length of their probation.

I wrote that the whole thing could be classified as a bona fiide cluster flup... and I've not changed that opinion.

The little tantrum that I threw the other day (and wrote about here) was for naught....

My twenty loveables turned out to be in reality divided by five which equals four in attendance for the first class.

Three females and one male... made up a nice, manageable group.

Yesterday, the same four showed up.

And appeared interested in the topic, which was financial in nature.

The man who co-facilitates the class was a great student, intelligent and engaged, respectful and interested... about as far away from our clients as Neptune is to the Earth..

maybe even further.

I, on the other hand, was a suck ass student.... I required a different learning environment/teaching style in order to stay focused, interested.

In other words... he and I buck ideas as to how best to run the class.

And he totally doesn't get how much I really understand their pain.

My co-worker and I were moving along swimmingly (I love that vision) with the four (semi) interested loveables when a knock at the door ushered in three more.

All guys... big, sky scrapers that swaggered like Godzilla (to keep da pants up yo) when they walked.

My first thought...let the ass sniffin commence.

In the Who's Who of the lovable thug world position means everything... with each and every new male (especially) addition there comes another jockeying of position...

"Who" can be the most disrespectful to the teacher?

"Who" can score a female's phone number the fastest?

"Who" can get their azz kicked out of class first?

When the first words out of one of their mouths is "I ain't doin fuck" that about sums up the interest they had in our class.

I consider myself a "think on the fly" sort of person and so when they wouldn't even take the cap off their pens to write their names on their papers the bull crap started to flow from my lips..

"You all understand that you are required by the County (the court) to attend a class like this one, right?..

I get that you don't want to be here, I understand, truly I do... "

"but what I'd like for you to understand is this, your Probation Officer has to prove to the Judge that you are here and have been making a concentrated effort to learn and understand what it is that we are feeding you here...get it?"

"those papers, the ones in front of you, yes those right there... they need to have something on them, something more than your name...they are going to court with you, they may be stapled to your court report... understand?"

"The questions need to be answered properly... I wouldn't put something I wouldn't want my Judge to see... hopefully, you will make an effort to show that you respectfully followed my directions and are learning something in this court ordered class..."

They quietly filled in the blanks.

While I quietly fist bumped myself under the table.

My co-facilitator was not happy with me that I let them off easy w/o doing an additional three pages of budgeting worksheets...

Baby steps my friend, baby steps.

“I get up.
I walk.
I fall down.
Meanwhile, I keep dancing.”
~Daniel Hillel

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