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Blessed Quiet

Jake is not in school today. And he was not in school for very long yesterday. He has been in rare form lately. On Wednesday I turned away for just a moment and when I turned back he was dancing on his chair with a kick me sign on his back — which he’d put there himself.

Later in the afternoon he and his best-friend got in a playround wrestling match. When I went out to pick up my class after recess, Jake had a bright red handprint on his face and blood seeping from a scratch beneath his eye. I sent Jake to the nurse — who cleaned him up and sent him (and his buddy) to the principal.

Thursday morning before school I saw Mr. Texas-Drawl frog-stepping two boys to the office — one of them was Jake. Fist fight. Both boys were suspended pending parent conferences.

My classroom is remarkably quiet. My students are extraordinarily well-behaved. And I’m still waiting for Jake’s mother to show up for his report card conference. She is only 3 weeks and 7 hours late ….

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas …

Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives on The Big Island in Hawaii. When she is not hanging out with Amoeba, she is likely teaching or sewing. Or she could be cooking, taking photographs, or even writing. But if she's not doing any of that, she's probably on Facebook or tinkering with her blog.


  1. Somebody wants to start a petition drive favoring “procreation licenses”, I’m first in line. Only one worry. If the same kinds of people run the Parent Licensing Bureaus as run the Registries of Motor Vehicles – or our armed forces …

  2. I wonder how many generations that family has been disfunctional? It looks like it may turn out to be one generation more. Lets hope not.

  3. It really upsets me when parents do not take responsibilty. i am guessing she has not come because she knows it will not be good and her life is probably already full of other problems she has to deal with.

    Regardng the post about going to the staff party….I never liked going to those because it seems like my work personality and my social personality were so different. I do well socially at work unless it is not during work, then I am awkward…I do not blame you but I am sorry you feel lonely during these times.

  4. I see a lifetime of hurt ahead of that little guy. too bad. My son is in grade 1 and he has a ‘jake’ in his class.Change the name to Sam and you’ve got the same picture.

  5. Looks like mom doesn’t have the tools…you gotta have a license AND insurance to drive a car, but anyone can have a baby! Poor Jake.

  6. Lori — This year I am working with fewer irresponsible parents than I have in the eleven years I’ve been teaching here.

    Kyah — I agree, I try, while a student like Jake is with me, to show them more positive ways to behave, but I’m only part of approximately 1100 days out of his entire lifetime. It doesn’t leave me much to work with.

    Cindra — indeed. See OC’s comment.

  7. I always feel bad for kids where it doesn’t seem that they get much academic support at home…and when a student acts out at school there’s a good chance there’s stuff going on at home.

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