Reub's journey

19 December 2011

Just before winter break

It's been a black-out around Ed & Reub,  I know. But I imagine you have been busy with other things and barely noticed; that's the way it is this time of year.

 The week before winter break in a middle school is exciting and excruciatingly slow for both students and teachers.  In recent years, though, we teachers are warned that not all kids look forward to the two weeks off, that home is a far less-happy place than school, and that everybody is under extra stress during these dark days before the end of the year.

 I always keep this in mind, although truthfully, everybody seems deliriously happy.  I guess that's the way it is with the rest of us too: it seems to be a joyful time, but hard things can happen.

On Friday we had the annual staff versus student basketball game. This is a hysterical activity, looked forward to by the kids because honestly, they could really have a chance at kicking ass. It is a huge diversion from the holidays.

See?  The choir teacher, about to play basketball!

 The 6th grade team, half girls, half boys, was coached by a favorite staff person of mine: Ty, who plays in a punk rock band named the Wobblies. In my mind, Ty is pretty much perfect, despite being partially deaf from the loud music.

I love this blurry photo, which depicts one of our few black teachers facing off against one of our few black students. The way they covered each other was a piece of art.
Staff plays 3 games against students: one against 6th graders, the second against 7th graders, and finally the third against 8th graders. Who wouldn't be exhausted and beaten down by the end of that? Staff won the 1st two games, but lost to the 8th graders. The ref was happily prejudiced in their favor.

Merry Christmas, kids. It will be be okay. See you next year.


  1. ok, there is so much i love about this! the lucha libre mask on the choir teacher (i'd totally want a kick-ass disguise if i were putting myself out there like that!!!!), the blurry choreography of the game, that your school does this...a perfect way to diffuse or channel some of that incredible energy!

  2. what a great tradition. i agree. holidays can be a tough time. it's not always fun to be home for an extended time.

  3. That sounds like so much more fun than christmas parties that not everyone can participate in.

  4. True, two weeks at home are not the best of times for many kids. The basketball game sounds like a hoot! I bet they look forward to that.

  5. Heyyy Slim, Isn't that the greatest mask ever to play basketball with 12 year olds? Also, thanks for praising the blurry photos; they aren't everybody's idea of good pics. I also love them.

    twg: There is a small and scary group of kids who dread this time of year.Last year there were 2 suicides among teens in this little town. One was from the high school and the other not in school.

    Ellen: Christmas parties are not allowed in my school district for that reason. But there are other ways to waste time, like showing movies on the last day. The bb game is a good alternative to that.

    EGW: They do reallllly like this game. And always ask if I'm gonna play.


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