Wednesday, October 26, 2005
posted by Q6 at 7:23 PM
Dress Code has been a hot topic at my school this year, fo no other reason than we've finally gotten around to enforcing it. Most educators will yawn at this, because dress code should be a no-brainer. Our community--affluent and style-driven to a point that makes alien ships think twice about landing in the area and look for abandoned cornfields instead--takes the mater very seriously. We've had quite a bit of success, however, and it's working out well. I have to be careful, though, for enforcing it just gets me into trouble ("My underwear is showing?" the female 11th grader asked. "Why are you looking at my underwear?" That was it; I was done). It became surreal today: I saw a girl, a first period TA walking to the office, in fishnet stockings and blue heels with leopard spots on them and said, "Those are interesting shoes." Her reply--"You're just going to comment on the shoes??"--just made me wonder about whether or not their mode of dress is meant only to draw our reaction.

I announced today (and probably shouldn't have, for many reasons) that since Halloween was a pupil-free day, and since this Friday was not Halloween (and since many female high school students traditionally seem to read the word "Halloween" as "Slut-Day"), that costumes would not be permitted. Did I get ravaged by complaints from the students? No. Did I get hounded by the parents? No. So who started attacking me first, immediately, and with the heat of a nova? The teachers. I began to hear stories of all sorts of elaborate costume plans. I was treated to lectures about school spirit (just what the founders of Halloween had in mind, I'm sure) and how I was ruining its very essence. It was as if I had single-handedly slaughtered the Great Pumpkin, and now had to tell Linus he was dead.

My very first Halloween at this school I was faced with a 12th grader wearing a hollowed-out matress, adorned with articles of clothing and stains. "I'm a one-night stand," he reported. Need I say more?
posted by Q6 at 7:11 PM
"You need to decide which side of the fence you're on," he said.

He said it as tough there was no question that the fence existed, as if there would be no debate--it was a given. Now I've always had nothing but profound respect for this school district elder, and I still do (and always will). A week prior I got called on the carpet by the principal(s) for "not being a team player." Then I got called into the district office for what I believed was going to be a conversation about administrator-teacher relationships (a subject, certainly for another time). Turns out it was more fof the same conversation: I'm too chummy with the teachers, I'm too much of an advocate for them. I wasn't at all unprepared on the topic; I've had this argument--I mean, discussion--before. The Catch-22 for me here is simple: I'm the "stabilizing element" at my school, as one teacher put it this morning, being the only returning administrator from last year, and they're giving me a hard time about my loyalties. "You need to decide which side of the fence you're on: are you on the teachers' side, or the administrators' side?" he asked. I like being an administrator. Yes, the teachers are very intelligent, witty, have jobs that better fit my altruistic nature, and their parties are infinitely more fun (again, a subject for later); but when it comes to administrative duties I like to think that my rapport with the staff works in my favor rather than against me. So when he asked which side of the fence I was on, all I could think of (although I didn't say it) was, "Where the hell did this fence come from?"

He may as well have been telling me how much he likes cake.