There’s a scene in Avatar when He talks into the camera, doing “science.”
Funny how he was his brother’s twin, and yet they were so different.
Two lives living the same dream–someone else, and yet the same.
Today was a bad day, Groundhog Day, ended badly because all the kids who had worked so hard had to fight. They fought after the Assembly about Community & Bullying. They fought because no matter how pretty the idea was, there was no recess and 6 graders need to run around at one point in the day if they’re going to last to 4pm. Especially the boys. But two girls fought anyways, each defending herself from the teasing boys. One said She was fat, or so it was inferred. (She didn’t use that word of course.) The other cuz he poked her? Either way, fighting happened. It was four days after our conversation about “non-violence” and having the courage to do something different. We don’t want to be a coward they told me. 4,500 in Children’s March did it, I said, to fight Bill O’Conner in Birmingham, with no violence. One kid explains it was a “different time and place.”
I’m an Avatar today.
Working, living, breathing in my twin’s body, trying to understand the Natives. On both sides, the Natives, the young folks in charge and the babies they are trying to teach.
I’m an Avatar because I’m on a mission by default and this, well this– is my small attempt to “do science.”
All the kids tell me that their parents teach them to defend themselves. That non-violence is a “nice idea” but not realistic.
Who am I to tell?
I hate violence and yet I hate apathy, too. I love King and Gandhi but X made some sort of sense, even in the Matrix Morpheus fought a battle or two, who didn’t love Morpheus?
Every teacher has taken days off in the one month I’ve been there. Some 2, 3, 4, 5 times even. Burn out.
But I’m tired.
I got tired when a small sassy kid said it was my fault he got detention because I smiled at him during Assembly and so he thought “everything was alright.”
Another kid asks just three days before, “Why you always so angry?”
Some days I make a difference.
Other days, I’m on a journey surveying their hard, cold ass—distant world.