Things you shouldn't say if you don't want to get smacked.

I almost started a fight at a party on Saturday. Not a physical one, but I came reeeeeeeally close to a severe verbal altercation. A friend actually had to talk me down.

One of my friends recently bought a new house, so she had a housewarming. She's a teacher in my district, though at another school. My district is pretty divided between schools like mine (inner city - we're 85% poverty, 70% minority, over 50% English Language Learners) and schools like hers (typical suburban, though percentages in each category are going up). She used to teach at my school before she spent a year traveling the world, which is how I know her.

At the party, she introduced me to a few of her coworkers. We were chatting and I mentioned my student who might be leaving, because if she does, she wants to go to this school (she lives near a bus route to it so it'd be convenient). I did it from a, "Oh, if you get the Chatterbox, she's one of mine, she's awesome, you'll love her" perspective.

The response I expected? Something like, "Oh, great, I'll watch for her." Or maybe a, "Why's she leaving?"

The response I got? "Oh, I have two students who used to go to your school. They like it sooooooo much better with us. They keep saying that your school is just dirty and gross, and there they were like the smartest kids, but at our school they're just normal."
I'm not kidding. That's what she said.

I wanted to punch her in her smarmy, smug, stuck-up little mouth*. Instead I stood speechless for a moment, and then muttered something about throwing my plate away and walked off. Because I couldn't conceive of a way to be polite to her after that. Just wasn't possible.

I was so angry that I couldn't talk to anyone for a few minutes, and then I found a friend from my school and spewed the story. She pointed out that my friend the host has to work with this bitch every day, and probably it would be better to not make a scene, and I could always bring it up some other time if I ever see her again. And reluctantly, I agreed.

I'm still not 100% sure it was the right choice. I kinda think that when people say dumbass stuff they should get called on it, even if it'd be an awkward time in which to do so....but I made my choice and simply didn't talk to any of them again.

But if I do ever see her again? Oh, I will make my point. And it will be sharp, and she will remember it.

(Is the fish me, stunned at her idiocy? Is it her, mouth open wide enough to say something that dumb? Either way, credit to bensonkua)


Anonymous said...

It hurts because she's judging the kids at your school. Same system, same resources-- they're the only variable, right? That's why institutionalized racism exists.

"I'm a dreamer but I ain't the only one Got problems but we love to have fun" -K'naan, "Dreamer"

I teach eighth grade Language Arts at an urban school. My kids kick ass and will change the world. I want everyone to know.
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