Anger, rage, uncontrollable emotions - these were not things I had truly experienced to the level that I have in the Delta. As I was driving home today from work, I was really shocked, and generally impressed that my parents were able to shield me from so many of these things while I was growing up.
Some of these students have no ability to look beyond what is right in front of them, lack the ability to talk things out, and generally escalate things beyond a necessary point. Where does this stem from? Is it nature or nurture? I just don't understand how you can have this "ride or die" mentality. Just because someone is your "cousin" or your "n," does that mean the expectation is you fight until you can't anymore?
I understand loyalty, I understand defending yourself - but I have never been in an environment where that automatically translates to physical intimidation or brutality. Where did this break down occur? Blahhh, these are the moments where I again just don't know how much of a direct impact I have as a single teacher. Students say "you're weak Ms. Butler if you wouldn't fight." I guess I must remain focused on what I can control inside my classroom, because some of the bigger cultural problems are not going to go away in two years. These are difficult lessons, with no end in site.