I am interning full-time at a Baltimore City Public high school. Every time I say that, people say things like, "Oh wow, I've heard that's a pretty rough district." Like I'm living in an episode of "The Wire." Certainly, it's true that things happen in urban districts that don't tend to happen in suburban districts; gang affiliations, kids macing other kids to avenge some perceived facebook slight, high school boys saying "fuck you, bitch" to me occasionally... But here's the secret. When you work in a high school urban districts aren't that different from suburban ones because ALL TEENAGERS ARE IDIOTS. Across the board. Black, white, rich, poor, suburban, urban, rural, the whole pack of 'em. I love working with teens and I don't mean this as a character assessment. I mean, teenagers are idiots. The best way to handle them is to think of them like drug addicts. Think about it, they're self-absorbed, impulsive, unpredictable, prone to mood swings, and frequently fail to think of consequences. Seriously, sometimes when I'm dealing with little Johnny I just envision a reed-thin toothless crack head tweaking out of his mind. This helps me act appropriately.
And while I do still occasionally get panicky taking a shower in the morning thinking of all I have to do during the day ahead, I would have to say I'm a lot happier than I was with my previous job. Like a lot. Like I don't have to chain smoke or go to happy hours 4/5 days to dull the stress tumor that was rapidly growing in my brain anymore. I sometimes kind of panic in general though. I think I am so neurotic that I need to swap addictions. I'm not addicted to smoking anymore so I instead have become addicted to believing that I have accidentally poisoned myself. Seriously, that's a thing. I was cleaning the bathroom the other day and I was cleaning up gobs of hair dye I had gotten all over the counter with foaming bleach cleaner. Than I remembered that if you mix ammonia and bleach it produces a toxic gas, I was pretty sure my hair dye was ammonia free but nevertheless I started to forget how to breathe and envision my dead, lifeless, partially cat-eaten corpse found two weeks later wearing only granny panties and a wife beater (which is how I am typically adorned when I clean my bathroom). So that's fun, right? Did I mention this is me in a really good place right now?
I have started to make friends at the school where I work, which is a huge relief since I was beginning to think I was like the smelly kid at summer camp nobody wants to hang out with. Mind you, I've made friends with my usual level of grace and poise. The first few weeks a teacher came into the counseling office and said she thought I was doing a really great job with the kids and to let her know is she could ever help me with anything. I ended the conversation feeling confident and happy, both with my professional competence and my ability to connect with other humans. I walked past a mirror, and to my horror, noticed I had a huge green mustache from the weird health food smoothie I had downed a few moments before. No wonder she was so nice, I'm sure she thought I was moderately mentally handicapped. And you all thought it was only blind dates that could be embarrassing and awful for me.
This hasn't been as cohesive as I like my blogs to be. I should be writing about a fun outing I took, or my thoughts on achieving peace in the Holy Land. I am, however, happy to be writing again and I'll probably try to do it more often.