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Friday, February 02, 2007

Little Angels

It's the end of my long ass work week of driving, driving, driving kids around for the non-profit arts program I work for and I'm pooped. I've been keeping a list of positive things that happen daily since December to keep from sinking into a huge funk. Many days my list looks like this:

Good Coffee

Didn't die.

Exercised

Practiced Guitar

Shaved.

Somebody said it was the little things in life. that someone needs to be smacked.

Anyway...I think it may have been Monday or Tuesday when I thought, "Man, my positive for today is that I am not these kids, nor their families."

My apprentice in the program, was released from his juvenile detention facility, and that's pretty much going to be that. I'm never going to see him again because now he doesn't want to get together. Most of us mentors are used as a form of entertainment while they are in "kiddie jail", and once they're out, they don't want to come back...which is sad because A) While we are partnered with the county, we are not offically the County. We just come in and do our thing for them, and we are perfectly happy meeting with the kids on the outside, but we are tainted by association. B) These kids get dumped back into the same environment that caused them to act out and end up back in the juvenile court system.

So as I drive around and I see the places the kids come from, and how they act around each other, for just one day I'm glad I'm not them.

Then again, I came from middle class, acted out, recklessly fired guns in Suburbia, drove drunk and comitted a couple minor acts of petty vandalism...I just never got caught. Imagine the dynamics of delinquent kids at a facility/school with other delinquent kids. The staff there is extrememly jaded.

Driving on Wed I had to pull over and talk to some kids who were arguing. I split them up and shut them up with the Cold Voice of Authority, and on later reflection decided to write up an incident report. See, they were threatening to shoot each other even though they were living in separate facilities. Less than 3 minutes of my time from hearing "Hollow Point" to ""I will NOT put up with this, this progam will NOT put up with this...you don't have to apologize but you WILL be Nice, and you will be Good or there will be Problems." and my Program Director has to go and meet with each boy and their staff. We have to take all threats of violence seriously. So that will be worked out soon. On the plus side, for the safety of everyone on the van, I have to be able to hear what they are saying to each other, so that means a greatly reduced radio volume, AND next week we are going to have ride along van mentors from the St. Louis Shakespeare Company to engage the kids in theater. They have experience with our population, so I hope this goes well.

Meh...I lost steam here. Between the end of the paragraph and here I brushed my teeth, and got ready for bed. Tomorrow is a big day. Alessandra has cleaned all the sofa cushion covers with treatments from Planet Urine, our new cushions have arrived, and the rest has been steam cleaned, so its only a matter of time before the Vortex once again grabs our asses.

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