As the year winds down, we all get so tired of everybody else's kids and I am sure they are tired of us too, the feeling is mutual. So we send them all home to their parents who are looking forward to spending time with their kids. By the end of the summer, their parents are all tired of them and can't wait for school to start. And the feeling is mutual for the kids, so they send them all back to us.
This school year started off pretty rough for me, losing my mom in July. It never let up. A kid had a stroke at school. Another had a fatal heart attack at his group home about 2 hours after the close of the school day. That was first semester. I told my husband and son that there were only two other things that have yet to happen to me, and that after 35 years of this line of work, when they happen, it is a sure sign that I need to retire.
The first---having to take care of someone injured on campus by an act of violence, either a stabbing or a gunshot. About two weeks after I said this, it happened. Technically, the kid had just exited the school property when he was jumped, beat up, and stabbed. He was able to walk though and Security brought him to me to assess and refer. Next thing I knew my office was filled with police officers who were part of the Gang Squad. The kid was stabbed in the head which produces a lot of blood and he looked like a mess. It about 20 staples to close his wound. I count this as an act of violence on campus.
The second thing that will trigger my retirement--the only thing left now- is someone having a baby in my office. That is the final trigger. Hasn't happened yet, but you just never know.
In the meantime, I get to be around people like Zairah, who penned the note above. People like her keep me going. Thank you Zairah! I will miss you when you graduate next week, but it has been an honor having you in my office. Congratulations Class of 2011!