I'm blogging because I need to write, but I have nothing to write about...or maybe, just nothing I want to say at the moment. I feel like my students who look at me with blank stares and glazed eyes.
I've perused through several other blogs already this afternoon, some to get ideas, some because they are my friends and I want to know about their lives.
Mark in London wrote about his near death, but hilarious, experience in The Ox and the Lamb Pub a few nights ago. Cool Cat Teacher quoted another blog about an ICT conference for kids, where kids teach the teachers what they have been doing in their classrooms with technology, and what lessons were important for them. Kids will be the keynote speakers and participants throughout the conference. Of course, this is in theory mode right now, but I think it's a novel idea.
Probably the most disturbing blog to me this morning was when I linked from Janet Morrison's Community Dialogue to Larry James' Urban Daily to read about Monica. This heart-wrenching story about an illegal immigrant teenager who, with no prior records, spent the weekend at an immigration center and then in jail because she did not have proper identification on her. About to graduate from high school, Monica is an honor student with good grades and no discipline record...and although her country (she's been here over a decade) will deny her any rights, her school teachers don't. To them, she's a typical American teenager about to graduate high school. She doesn't look out of place because she buys her clothes at the mall, or finds trendy bargains at local thrift markets. She uses local cell phone service and pays for things she needs from local stores. She carries her school work in a back pack or a fashionable bag. She has conversations about music and movies. She listens to an Mp3 and has a MySpace. She studies. She listens in class. She gets her homework done on time. She's thinking about her dreams of a family, her college applications, and her aspirations about a career. Inside, there's excitement about the new chapter in her life that's about to begin, and a little nauseous anxiety, even though, like most 18 year-old's, she would never admit it.
Now, her new chapter is scarred for a decision her parents made when she was five to bring her to a new country so she could get a better education, a better job, and a better life. She was offered a place to live, a loving family and neighborhood, and an education. She offers the 21st century American society money, work ethic, intelligence, and a voice to vote.
I don't know Monica personally, but I know her. She's a daughter and a best friend. She might be a sister and an aunt. She might even be a teacher's pet. The point is, she's someone. She's not an illegal immigrant. Monica is the face of an American teenager.