Monday, February 25, 2008

Yesterday we went to Juvenile Hall, to visit one of C's students who never gets visitors. I don't know where this kid's mother is, but his father has four or five other children, and, I think, a car that doesn't work.

C had baked a batch of chocolate chip cookies and we took some. It was a chance for me to look around and get acclimated before I go in with him on Wednesday. The grounds are new and light, with lots of great art around--sculptures, murals. But the inside rooms smell of teenage boy sweat and strong disinfectant cleanser.

C's student came out of his room rubbing his eyes. His face fell for a moment when he saw us. His father had promised him that he would visit this week, and again he was disappoiunted not to see his dad.

We sat and talked for a little while at a picnic table. D is small for his age, shy and soft-spoken. He likes to play football. As C says about so many of his students, "They're not criminals. They're just the kid in the back seat of a stolen car, in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong people because they don't have anywhere else to be."

I'm so mad that Ralph Nader has announced his candidacy for President again. Doesn't he have anything better to do? Every time I feel like I'm wasting my life, not using my time well, I think, at least I'm not Ralph Nader, siphoning off liberal votes away from the Democratic Party. Hopefully, he'll have no effect on this year's election.

I was bummed to miss the Academy Awards last night, but essay class was wonderful--two poignant moving essays and very good discussions. It's such a sweet, mature, thoughtful bunch of students.

C is going to try and contact D's father Wednesday, and drive him up to the Hall if necessary.

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