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Packing an Apology

Sunday, June 13, 2010

I Said I Lied
Sunday, May 02, 2010

“Didn’t you say you signed the Code of respect form he asked? Or did he say, “Didn’t you say YOU HAD to sign the code of respect?” “Well yes” I said, and then later I admitted to having lied about it when I was confronted by this most noble 8th grade student of flawless, practically foolproof crafter of winning arguments. “Didn’t you say you lied he asked?”

Well how much of a lie was I really admitting to? After all signing an annual teaching contract certainly implies somewhere among the various agreed upon points that I do and must respect students. I think there may be implications involving a promise, or even an allusion that on any given moment I must be prepared to lay down my life for my students.

Yeah I’m pretty sure my contract implies respect and so much more. If I say I signed the “code of respect” I’m not entirely lying because I’ve signed the “Mother Load” of all school documents that precedes student documents of the same kind. And come to think of it there is a line on the student code where my signature is required.

Oh to relate the carefree to the budding adolescent! Haven’t I grown past my own youthful season? My days of cutting teeth on the perfection of human ideals have long slid past. My days are filled with facing up to misjudgments, physical manifestations with voices and creaky limbs from past places I’ve walked and words I’ve spoken.

When I was his age I wrote a poem about paying attention. I had grown tired of teachers asking me and my class mates to pay attention. Paying attention had finally exacted its toll. My poem was a diatribe against payments due of which I did not owe. I was so proud of my clever thinking. Pride winning out put my life on a circuitous and wayward path; and now I spend my days gently holding the aftermath of my strayed attention and now I am committed to loving what is.

And if I lied to my 8th grader even if only to make a point; I’m caught up in an intricate snare set by the Admiral of Debate. Shouldn’t I smile and kindly take my lumps as his moral compass spins wildly out of control? He looks pleased by his own cleverness and I take it inward to imagine the path this young person will walk. Meanwhile I envision my own future and I commit to paying attention once again.
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