Going Back

HOLY FUCKBALLS, I WROTE ANOTHER THING! I’m sure that, if I continue to write things that have my forrealz name on them, the excitement will fade. But for now, I still feel all flustered and shit.

This post isn’t about food justice. Though “going back” can be used to describe my new interest in trying to find local and affordable produce options (fyi, Fresh Direct can suck it). No, the conference I wrote about was held at Brooklyn Technical High School, which happens to be the high school I went to.

Walking into the building, I was overwhelmed by nostalgia. My first urge was to sneak a smoke in the bathroom (and I quit smoking 4 or 5 years ago). I thought about all the friends and acquaintances I made there. I’ve either remained friends with or reconnected with most of the closest friends I had. But there are a few who I still wonder about. I also remembered some of the people I didn’t care for. I asked myself if I were to run into them today, would we get along? Hmmm…

I walked into a classroom, the one the Youth Voices workshop was held in, and I couldn’t help but smile. On the walls were pics of Che Guevara, Gandhi, Cesar Chavez. Pictures of people holding protest signs, from the civil rights movement in the 50s and 60s and the labor movement in Wisconsin.

I mention this because i’d forgotten. I forgot how much of what I learned there had nothing to do with curriculum. How do you sit through a class when you completely disagree with most of what they’re trying to teach you? I’m sure there are students who don’t agree with the possibly leftists opinions of this teacher. When I was a student, I had some teachers who were open to discussion and debate. There were others who ruled their classrooms with an iron fist and refused to admit if they’d made mistakes. How does a student learn when to stand up for themselves and each other? In a school with around 3,000 students, how does a person learn to balance self expression with respect for the people around them? In a school with around 3,000 students, you’re bound to bump heads with at least a few of them. How do you learn how to function around people you just don’t like?

I talk a lot of smack about Tech being a vortex of evil. But really, it wasn’t so bad. At the very least, I made friends there that have become part of our family. What more could a BCM ask for?

(For my Kitchen Table Crew)

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One Response to Going Back

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