On top of yesterday's terrible news, today brought the following:
- First thing this morning, I found out via Facebook that a former student from St. Martyr's died on Sunday. Apparently he had a drug overdose on his 31st birthday. (His partner posted the news to his FB page.)
- It turns out that a large percentage of the seniors have been hazing the juniors, sending nasty text messages and who knows what else. So today the seniors got hauled into a meeting and yelled at. Then -- and this is a surprising move at FGS -- the specific culprits were called out and required to stay longer for more particular yelling at. As luck would have it, my AP Lit class met immediately afterward, but when the bell rang only two students showed up. They told me what was going on, and the three of us sat around waiting for the rest of the class. Apparently the whole rest of the class was guilty. It seems like perhaps the administrators divided the seniors into greater and lesser culpability, because small groups of kids trickled in over the next 15 minutes. The last few kids who showed up -- all leaders among the seniors -- were clearly chastened (appropriately so!), and one of them cried quietly for the rest of the class period. What's going on with my nice students that they would do such a thing?
- Not one but two friends of mine are in turmoil over their FGS jobs. One of them is big on drama and is usually upset about something or other, so I'm not worried about her but did listen to her vent earlier this week. But the other one keeps managing to seriously misstep -- I don't know what's up with her, but everything she does goes awry lately -- and got hauled into meet with the head of school this afternoon. She thought she was about to get fired; I was pretty sure that wasn't the case -- nothing she's done has been unethical or anything like that -- but I spent some time today bolstering her up for the meeting. Fortunately, she was not in fact fired; I haven't yet heard all the details of the meeting.
- A student left my room this morning and went straight to her advisor, who is the academic dean, and burst into tears. It turns out that she is "absolutely terrified" of me. Sigh. The dean is totally supportive and told me that she doesn't know why I have this reputation among younger students, but there it is. This particular kid is a new student who is bombing out right and left, so none of this is my fault and no one blames me, but it's no fun to be told that one is terrifying.
I herewith declare an end to all emotional strains for the next 48 hours. I'm not sure how I'm going to pull that off, but I think it's necessary for my own well-being.