A few weeks ago I chaperoned our school’s webpage design class for the regional computer fair. Our district has remained rather steadfast in its commitment to technology, and our students are the chief beneficiaries. The students I was with are chosen to participate in a class that focuses on various computer applications, programs, and design, but the students in our district have access to different types of technology throughout their academic career. At the computer fair, the webpage design class took five out of the six first place awards as well as the majority of the second and third place awards to boot. By far and away the most impressive award was a first place win for the mobile app game that one young man created. Basic coding I get . . . but this? This was something on a completely different plane. Upon returning to school, I was told to call our assistant principal, who told me that one of my students had decided to form a mafia to take me down.

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Yes . . . a mafia to take me down.

My initial reaction was to laugh. Seriously? Here’s a student who I tutor after school and he thinks that the best course of action is to form an organization – complete with membership offers – to take me down. Do I honestly think that something bad would have befallen me? No, not really. I’m pretty sure that he didn’t enjoy tutoring. Maybe he thought he was being funny. But in light of the school shootings that have occurred in the past year or so, there was a small part of me that was crying inside.

The following week, my student teacher gave her final vocabulary quiz in which the students were told to describe their worst day using vocabulary words correctly in context. Topics? A pet dying. Losing at a game. Having someone they didn’t like send a friend request on Facebook. Having to spend time with teachers and seeking vengeance against them in the hopes of eradicating them. Huh? 1) Kudos for using vengeance and eradicate correctly in context. 2) We need to have a chat, kiddo.

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What’s a girl to do in times like these? When it seems like the world has tilted ever so slightly? Walk. Long. Hard. Up hills. Downtown. With a puppy. Jog a little bit. Say hello to people. Let the dog posture at ducks and geese. But above all . . . clear my head. Twenty-three miles of walking and clearing my head. All the while, Lucy has been by my side, happily trotting along and meeting new people. She’s a good walking partner. If I feel like talking, she’ll listen. But if I want to get out in silence, letting everything marinate and stew in my mind, she’s happy with that, too. And provided I keep giving her treats, I’m 99% sure she won’t turn to Cosa Nostra to exact her revenge.

Check Overexposed and Underdeveloped tomorrow for something new . . . there’s a little change that I’ve been meaning to make.

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