Anyone who has known me for a very long time knows that I don’t consume much alcohol. If it is strong smelling, I get sick to my stomach before it even reaches my lips. Also, if I can’t smell it, it can’t be strong tasting either or else I won’t drink it as well. Some good friends have introduced to Smirnoff. I guess you could say I am very selective with what alcoholic beverages I will consume. Also, I take medication that the two do not mix and well, I need the meds more than the alcohol.
However, I have discovered the power of an occasional Smirnoff. And today is one of those days. As I have mentioned before, I work in a Title 1 school. Hardship rules the lives of a quite a few of the students there. Some days are quite a bit more challenging than others. There are days in which I wonder how those who have been there longer than myself have kept at it. They truly are heroes and saints.
I am sure there has always been moments in education where teachers in schools fulfill many roles they never thought they would have to do and that is becoming more and more the case.
I am not only having a Smirnoff tonight because I work in a stressful environment because lots of people do. And lots of people handle stress differently. But I am becoming fearful.
Fearful—not a word typically in my vocabulary. And here is why, I am seeing as the lack of communal support for people in poverty rises (which in Kansas, that rate is rapidly increasing), it has dramatic effects on children. Two, whatever has dramatic effects on children, it has a ripple effect on their ability to cope and learn. I purposely put cope and learn. More and more children are coming to school without proper coping skills thus making the learning environment difficult at best. If the coping skills are not in place than learning does not happen effectively if at all. When the environment in which they come from is inherently stressful and when a person is chronically stressed, it affects ALL areas of functioning.
I am fearful because as I look at the big picture, children are losing in our state and losing a lot. It does take a village to raise a child and some of the most important supports are being whittled away such that I now walk around at times thinking, who is going to take care of the children? And some of you may respond, it is the parent’s responsibility. True but sometime (lots of the time) they do not have the skills they need to be effective at parenting. Either way, the question remains, who will care for the children?
Thus, this is what is driving me to seek some Smirnoff relief.