Jose VilsonEducation, Jose

Color Chalk

Color Chalk

Had my observation today at school. As usual, because I’m really hard on myself, I’ll probably give myself a B-, or maybe even a C+. I’m not pleased with myself. And frankly, I could lay out a bunch of excuses for myself, but that’s just not how I roll. It just hasn’t been that week for me.

On Wednesday, for instance, what became a simple task turned into an excursion. Before my alumni meeting, I went to find some goddamn color chalk. Granted, color chalk seems to be one of those rare things that only I should have gone to a teachery store from, but since they advertise to teachers so much, I thought “Why the hell not?” I went to Staples, thinking it might be easy since that’s their big thing. I smacked like 10 “Easy” buttons before the managers even looked in my direction. And the more I searched, the less I found. Not only did they not have color chalk, but they had NO chalk whatsoever! Wow. That wasn’t easy.

Then, I went to Office Depot, Staples’ less social older stepsister. At first, I thought I might find it there because they had color everything: color markers, water paints, color pencils, color pens, color finger paint, colors even Roy G. Biv might be inspired by. But when it came to chalk, I saw nothing. And I mean nothing. I let go of my more male stereotypes and asked for directions. The guy on the first floor says, “Oh, why don’t you go downstairs to teacher’s supplies?” And lo and behold … I found a section called Teacher’s Supplies with no CHALK! Again, at this point, I’m humbled, so I went to a clerk at the downstairs level and asked where the chalk was. “Oh, it’s upstairs, I think.” Oh really? You mean the same UPSTAIRS I JUST CAME FROM!?

At this point, I must have looked like a raving maniac, because I was definitely whispering to myself “wheresdagotdamnchalkiwantsomechalkimeanwhatdahell?” And I calmed my ass down over some hot chocolate and some serious meeting time with my compatriots. Today, after what I’d consider a bad observation in many ways, letting the 4-5 kids in my class know about their inappropriate behavior, and contemplating teacher leadership for some grant we’re working on, I decided I’d satisfy the urge anyways.

I bought the chalk.

At the local supply shop.

After alllllllll that searching.

Needless to say, I bought the three packs left.

And I’m sitting here, no beer in my hands and chillin’ in the living room, contemplating whether I’m a bit too hard on myself. The positives far outweigh the negatives in any given matrix. And despite some of my finer issues I need to work on, I’ve been teaching ostensibly.

Can’t count my blessings on one hand, more than a handful
And God ain’t send nothin’ my way I couldn’t handle …

– Joe Budden, “If I Should Die Tomorrow”

Jose, who needs a nice, cold glass of water and some good reading …

p.s. – Thanks to everyone who kept things in perspective for me.