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Entry date: 12-12-23 – Tiny Little Screws – Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,


Yesterday was a bit of a soul crusher. It was a long, frustrating day at work. The students were just off a little bit. Probably a mix of getting close to break, holiday stress, and we are all just kind of tired of each other, I suppose, but it was tough.


The Cocaine Baby brought a bunch of tiny screws in his backpack and during the morning was just throwing them at other students and spreading them around the floor. When I asked him why, he just said he didn’t know how to make good decisions. This is the “system” in a nutshell. We are making a generation of people with a built-in excuse to fuck up.


I basically told him (without swearing) that his answer was bullshit. He was just being a shit for the sake of being a shit. He didn’t care for that, but each week I will have to break him of his perceived helplessness to his whims and start over the next week. I am Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. The Cocaine Baby is no Andie MacDowell.


The day was not ruined, though, by tiny little screws. Hopefully, too, the tiny little screws were not foreshadowing what happened next.


I spent a little time prepping in a nice, quiet classroom after the little cherubs were gone. I busted out a fair amount of work and am setting myself up for a relatively easy week next week. Rhondi asked me to stop at the store on the way home and that was actually pleasant. I love going to Ranch Market on 19th and Dunlap. They have the best chips and dips.


For once, I got to interact with a friendly cashier, too, and things were looking up. As much as I like the products in that store, their cashiers are usually shitty and give me a look like, “What are you doing here, white boy?” Yesterday was nothing like that. It was my turn to get the “You know your salsa” lady. We had a nice chat about their delicious habanero salsa, and I was on my way.


It really is good, too. It will wreck your day if you go too hard on it, but mixed with some guacamole or their salsa verde and it is spectacular.


Got home to a call from Liam asking me to come get him from the skatepark. He rolled his ankle pretty damn well and was not able to walk on it last night. I’m hoping it isn’t broken, but considering how quickly he swelled up, he did some damage. Rhondi will take him to get it checked out this morning. Merry Christmas, kid!


There is not much worse than things hurting your children. The helplessness you feel just erodes your confidence at the moment. It’s amazing how quickly a fairly reasonable adult can be reduced to a babbling idiot talking about what the Mayo site says about ankle injuries like a TV doctor. I want to go check on the ankle right now instead of writing this blog, but he’s sleeping and something tells me he needs that more than me fussing over him.


Poor kid. While we were talking about possible outcomes last night, he realized that he was probably going to miss time at work. He really likes his job and takes pride in being good at it and working hard. I love that he already sees how fucked up it is when his co-workers aren’t pulling their weight. He gets “it” at 16 and it will serve him well in the working world.


Put your head down, do your job, and it’s really hard for your bosses to fuck with you. Don't let those tiny little screws get clogged up in the machine.


See you tomorrow.

Liam and Grandpa hitting the trail about 12 years ago.

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