Category: Publius

Sam, the end

By | Prose, Publius

I just found out that Sam got busted for stealing a car. He is to be suspended for 180 days. I call this ‘the death sentence‘. On an impulse, the other night he goes out and steals a Mercedes. (Why bother with a Toyota, right?) Then he goes home. After a hard night of ripping …

I Held Sam after Class Today

By | Prose, Publius

I held Sam after class today. He stared out the window and cried. He tells me that he just wants to go home. We discuss his behavior. Sam knows his behavior is disruptive, but he hates his Ritalin because it “flattens his affective range” — in other words, the pills keep him from feeling anything. …


By | Prose, Publius

Jonah and I chat. Jonah is another kid who is constantly disruptive. He says, “I know what I need to do. I just wish I knew how to do it.” My wife would say that Jonah is a perfect candidate for psychodynamic psychotherapy. He’s bright. He understands the effects his actions have upon others and …

Be Cool

By | Prose, Publius

There’s a side of me that my friends never see, and that is the strict disciplinarian. I’m actually considered one of the stricter teachers in the building, someone who is perfectly capable of holding down a class full of Crips. I’m perfectly capable of giving a kid three days suspension for not calling me “Sir” …

The Roll Call Of Sorrow

By | Prose, Publius

When I first walk-in around 6:30 AM, I’m always struck by that institutional smell. It’s not a bad smell; it’s just, well, a school smell. I like to get to work early. But this is not out of any ambition, any work ethic. My day is long; my work is hard. I like to begin …

Just a Short

By | Humor, Prose, Publius

Yesterday at the faculty meeting, folks complained that the announcements are way too long, and that many, delivered to the whole school, only pertain to a few. The principal promised to think about it. Thus it is that, today, we have had the following announcements: “Just a short announcement to those for whom this announcement …

A Haiku

By | Prose, Publius

a balmy spring breeze flutters the freshly starched blouse of the corner whore Which is exactly what happens as I look out my window on a pretty, if balmy, spring day in the ghetto. _____  

Mr. Riddlesinger

By | Prose, Publius

I have to run some paperwork over to the old Southtown Middle School.   We’re coordinating some middle school to high school curricula.   Southtown is a venerable, late 19th century building.   Right on the river.   A lovely place, except when it rains. I figure I’ll drop in on Arthur Riddlesinger.   I taught middle school with him …