Work at Claudel

I’m trying something different this time, with more pictures and fewer words because, uh, this was an emotional roller coaster of a week. (I’ve been avoiding the English teachers because I don’t think I’d be able to handle their sympathy and concern.)


  • Je asked me to prepare a lesson on African Americans for Tuesday, so I seized the chance to talk about #BlackLivesMatter, intersectionality, and #AllLivesMatter, and the entire class nodded when I said #AllLivesMatter is stupid and redundant. I’m so proud of my blooming social justice babies. (I actually went back to my room and cried; it was something I’d really needed after a racist incident in the morning with random white boys in the hallway saying “ching chong.”)


  • Ak expected me to act like everything was normal and carry on with introductions. When a girl asked what my origins were, I decided I was done with that question. I looked her straight in the eye and said, “American.” Ak then had me help out with a worksheet, and I found myself fighting back tears; I didn’t give a crap about English idioms. I wanted to be angry and talk about social justice, because as a queer WOC, I don’t have the luxury of pretending that nothing has changed.
  • Ak told her second class, “We’re not talking about the elections” when they tried to ask me about it, and I nearly screamed in frustration and walked out the door. Screw your worksheets on idioms and American schools. People’s lives are at stake.


  • K let her students ask me about the election, thank god. Nothing has ever felt as satisfying as finally getting to explain that white people screwed over all us minorities. (She tried to interject, “But I saw some black people voting for Trump on the TV,” and I basically went HELL NO DON’T YOU START.) When she and the class asked what I feared the most, I told them that my friends and I cried because most of us are gay and/or transgender, and they looked so crushed that I gave up trying to keep a fake smile plastered on my face. Finally, maybe I’m a terrible person, but I burst out laughing with the rest of the class when a girl raised her hand and blurted out, “I think Trump’s going to be killed.”


Well, at least I’m done working for the week. I’m off to finish packing for a trip to Paris with C because I absolutely have not been procrastinating.



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