Yesterday was an exciting day, there was an “almost-fight” in my classroom. During a class conversation, one boy rambled off some set of words to another boy who then fired back with his own set of words–I couldn’t understand what they were saying because they were talking at the speed of light, but the tone was unmistakable. Soon, both boys were standing up and headed towards each other. For anyone who knows what my face does in situations like this, I got SO red. Luckily, another teacher was in the room and worked with me to calm them down and get them apart from each other. I still am not sure what the instigating student said to the other to spark such a fuse, but it was intense. This is exciting for me because it means I have two boys to start counseling with this week! I’m anxious to hear from each their experience with the squabble and to understand where both of their dealings of anger come from. I’ve heard a few times from different people that the Guyanese have very short fuses, and things can escalate quickly. I understand this may be part of the culture, but don’t young men deserve the chance to decide if it will be their culture? We’ll see how this goes; if anything, they’ll be happy to be called out of class for a few minutes.
Each time when I sit down to blog, what comes to mind are the buses. I take three buses each day going to and from work; while they’re the same route each day, they’re almost always different drivers, conductors and passengers. Late last week, a woman got into the bus with a “good morning, everyone” (to which EVERYONE replies “good morning”, which I think is so cool) and then sat next to me and introduced herself. It turns out, she was on the same bus as I had been the day before and she remembered me; I was in the back, she was in the front. We both thought this was crazily coincidental and neat, and continued to talk. I haven’t seen her since that day, but I do have ten more months.
On a bus home last week was a young girl in a school uniform who was by herself. She was so tiny, looked petrified and I couldn’t decide if she was meaning to be alone, or had been separated at some point. I guess she had told the conductor where to drop her off and when her stop arrived, the conductor literally shoo-ed her out of the bus. She got out and just stood at the corner alone, looking around like she was about to cry. In my head I thought “what the heck, this girl is never gonna make it home, where are her parents, what is she going to do?!”, but the bus was driving away and there was little I could do. It turns out the guy behind me had been looking at her, seeing her fear and thinking the same things I had been. He called out to the conductor to stop immediately, then yelled at him for letting a young girl get off alone. He stormed off the bus (without paying, but it seemed like the conductor was okay letting it slide), and ran back to the girl. Who knows how he helped her or if she really was as disoriented as she looked, but he got off the bus to help when he realized it was needed. How many times have things like this happened–where we hoped someone was going to help that girl, or we hoped someone was going to stop and make sure things are okay? For me, lots of times. For this guy, maybe it had been too many times of hope and finally the time to act.
I write this while looking out a window towards a wooden bridge that covers a big ditch; I don’t think there is water underneath, just lots of greenery and probably some reptiles I don’t want to think about.There is a little boy squatting at the base of the bridge, playing in the dirt, singing the alphabet loudly enough for me to hear across the street. Definitely the cutest thing I’ve seen in a while.