Friday, October 22, 2010

A Farewell Note to Michelle Rhee

Dear Ms. Rhee,

To borrow from the Beatles, “I read the news today, oh boy.” I must say; I wasn’t too surprised. What with Fenty’s loss in the primary and your sad, little talk with Vince Gray, I suppose the writing was spray painted in bold, fluorescent lettering on the walls.

Oh, there’s just so much I want to say in this farewell piece, where to begin? Let’s start with one that’s close to my heart – special education.


Well, that’s how my letter started, but the hateful words didn’t pour onto the page the way I had thought they would. It’s as if I’ve been so detached and removed from the school system that my anger and bitterness have melted away (almost).

I was thinking how incredibly different my life is today. Well, different from the nightmare that was every day DCPS. These days, I come to work and I’m not about to vomit. I wait for my students and they are mostly respectful, compliant, and complete their work. If there’s a problem, my program director helps me solve it. It’s a far cry from the loneliness that was my first two years teaching in the DC Public School system.

I felt bad the other day on the elevator when I saw some poor public school teacher step in. I knew she was a teacher by her badge. I also knew by the wrinkled expression that she wore and couldn’t remove. She looked tired. It’s only October, Christ.

Back to my life being different…I went back to the gym this week and was running to some of my favorite tunes that I used to run to last school year. Running was always great for me on my really bad days. I would imagine someone’s face under my feet as I ran and it would make me run harder and harder until I would have a cramp in my side.

One song was particularly poignant during those runs – It was Michael and Janet Jackson’s “Scream.” This song talks about how much they are under pressure and I remember that song would always be the height of my run. I would run the fastest I could and would think about running on the face of whoever has displeased me the most that day. I would also cry during this song, feeling overwhelmed, like I might explode from stress.

I ran to that same song the other day and realized halfway through that I wasn’t crying. I wasn’t crying because I wasn’t under an insane amount of pressure. Before, I was stressed out to the max and drinking myself into oblivion. That realization this week made me almost shed tears of happiness.

So, dear neglected readers, you must be thinking…Has she made her peace? Is she beginning to romanticize that horrible experience as a public school teacher? I would say, no, but I am trying to be more objective in my posts. This may be part of the reason why my posts have been less bitter and more reflective. But stay tuned, the best is yet to come, and I will surely be writing more in November when things start to slow down at my new job. Thanks for supporting me!

1 comment:

  1. Writing can be cathartic (sp?) for all of us. In a way, blogging is akin to writing a journal. What inspires me to write, (my goal of 1 time weekly) is that I want to keep a record of what is transpiring on our reform landscape. I have been blogging for 2 years now. My how time flies by. It is interesting for me to go back and read some of my earlier posts from 2008 about things that happened here in DC under the Fenty/Rhee regime. Its amazing how much we forget.

    Well keep up the great blogging.

    Candi Peterson
    AKA The Washington Teacher blogger