Friday, August 13, 2010

Dear Education Gap, I hate you.

Have you ever gotten that achy, awful feeling in your stomach about something? Well, that's how I feel when I think about the education gap. Lately, it (it being education inequity, my students, the students in my district, the schools I grew up in, education in general) has been on my mind. How could it not be? I start teaching in just a week and a half.

...and I'm filled with this awful feeling in my stomach. Very few feelings compare. I think I actually felt more optimistic about being sick. I'm not kidding. I really truly wish I was.

Let me explain. Here's how the whole cancer thing worked for me.

December 1, 2006--Doctor: "You need to have chemo and to start in about 2.5 you have any questions?" me: "Do I have cancer? Doctor: "No one told you?"
I went home. I made a to do list. I wrote D next to things my dad needed to do, A next to things I needed to do. I made phone calls, many of them. I cried, yes, but I went into Alex-crisis mode. There was a problem, and I was going to solve it by having snacks on hand (helps with all the meds) and learning everything I could about the problem a.k.a. cancer.
Later that day--phone call from the doctor: "We got your blood tests results back. We need to start chemo Monday."

Then, I did everything in fast-forward speed. I had two days. I stopped by the Y to see my boss; we picked up medicines; I had a picc-line put in my arm (if anyone ever tells you it's painless, I assure that person is lying). To do list=completed.

December 3, 2006--Day 1 of chemo.

December 25, 2006--Finally let my hair fall out. (No really, I didn't wash it for a couple days so I could make it through Christmas with hair.)

December 27, 2006--20th birthday. Cupcakes at the hospital. Baldness. Super fun. (I really need to invent sarcastic marks.)

January 29, 2007--Last day of chemo. Amazingness.

January 29, 2008--Celebrate one year of great health with tequila and margaritas and friends.

January 29, 2009--Celebrate two years of great health with friends and a tequila sunrise (see the pattern?).

January 29, 2010--Celebrate three years of great health with chinese food and margaritas and my puppy.

...Cancer was "simple." There was a problem, and I created a solution. Granted my solution doesn't guarantee good health, but my solution was: do as much as I can to make things better.

Now, let's go back to education inequity. A GLARING problem. Yet my to do list skills are failing me. I am wondering: What is my way of dealing with this problem? HOW do I fight it?

Cancer I could accept. I hated it, but I could accept it. Nothing could have prevented it, nothing could have made it go away.

Children not all receiving amazing educations? I can't accept that. I hate it, and I can't accept it. This problem SHOULD have been prevented, and something CAN make it go away. I'm not sure though, what is the right "something" to make it go away. I hate that. I hate IT.

And now I'll go to sleep with a knot in my stomach, this achy feeling reminding me how much I am bothered by this problem and wondering how I will be a part of the solution.

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