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How Dr. Dre, Eminem, and My Students Saved Me

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Monday, July 4, 2011

How Dr. Dre, Eminem, and My Students Saved Me

I don't know how to write this... so I'm going to try to do the best I can to stay on track. Last fall, when I returned to school... I wasn't fully recovered from all the changes of my life since Alexander's diagnosis.  Going back to school was such a daunting task.  What do I say? How much do I reveal?  How will Alexander do with us away?  What if something happens to Alexander while I'm at work?  What do I tell my students?

The truth was, I was still grappling with the loss of a dream as well.  You know, that dream of what my family would look like.... the dream I had while I was pregnant.  Honestly... I really just didn't know what to say or how to act.  I decided to tell my students.  To just be open and honest and answer any questions they had to the best of my abilities.  I made cards - red, yellow, and green.  We all had them on our desk.  A green card signified it was the greatest day ever and we were thrilled to be in class.  It said, "call on me! I am feeling awesome.  Yellow said - I'm ok. Not awesome, not terrible.  And a Red card said, "please leave me alone.  I'm having a terrible day and I just need a break."  We all used them.  I explained that a red for me probably had nothing to do with them, and everything to do with home. I'm proud to say I was green almost every day... without even thinking of it.  You don't know how many students told me they came in and looked at the card first thing when they walked in the class.  I also looked at their cards.  I respected their red days. (Too many reds would mean a guidance counselor call... and they knew it) - so when it was red, we all backed off. I was doing the best I knew how to be "normal" and "myself" at the same time.  But... I was still not myself.  I still was... coming to grips with how the circumstances of my life was going to impact - my life.

I would also like to tell you that I love my job.  (If you haven't noticed) Behind my family, it is my second greatest passion.  I would love to talk about it more, but that is an area that really should stay private.  I can tell you this.  I take the responsibility of being a mentor, role model (to an extent), a teacher very seriously.

Enter Dr. Dre and Emimen.  Their track, "I need a Doctor" - was the slap in the face I needed.

In this track- Emimen and Dr. Dre have both been off the scene for awhile.  Eminem has gotten his life back together and is reaching out to Dr. Dre.  He is pleading with Dre to "come back."  He is reminding Dre of his role as a mentor to Eminem... how Dre believed in Eminem - even when no one else would.  Eminem is revealing his desire to be stronger, show everyone what he is made of, and telling Dr. Dre the time of recluse is over.  He even says, "You're gonna either want to fight me when I get off this mic or you're gonna hug me, but I'm out of options, there's nothing else I can do." - because he is so blunt with with Dre - telling Dre, "It hurts when I see you struggle... second guessing yourself... you're supposed to be my mentor .... remember who you are."

SlapRemember who I am. Slap. Remember who I am.  Slap.  Remember I am a teacher. Slap. Remember that I am to be a mentor. Slap. Remember that people depend on me. Slap. Remember I can change a life. Slap. Remember who I am. Slap.

**Disclaimer - Grandma... don't watch this video.  If you hate rap, don't watch this video. If you hate Eminem or Dr. Dre... don't watch this video ** 

That song helped me to get a grip.  Believe it or not. It helped me to refocus and not drown in the overwhelming circumstances that seemed to be happening at home.  It helped me to find balance.  It helped me to remember who I am.  Dr. Dre, Eminem, and my students saved me.

 If you want to have a discussion about my choice in music, please read this post FIRST.  If you want to talk about how my listening to Rap music is sending me strait to hell, please read this post FIRST.  Remember, everyone is entitled to an opinion... and I knew this post might turn some readers away.  But, this has been in my heart for a long time. Time to let it out.

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At July 4, 2011 at 3:18 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Besides hitting me on the "mommy" level..this hits me on the "I hate being a teenager" level. I had wonderful teachers..seriously, maybe they weren't in touch with bullying like they are now, but they were still great. I was bullied..every day from 9th grade til 11th took most of 12th grade to stop flinching. Maybe if I had a teacher who handed out cards and I got enough red cards and was "forced" to talk to someone, it could have been as a former teenager..good job! Maybe besides being Alexander's biggest champions you will be a scared student's biggest champion as well...

At July 6, 2011 at 12:46 PM , Blogger Hilary said...

I love the card idea!

I also struggled with what/how/when to share with my students about Magnolia. I will have to decide that again this year as I will have a complete new group. I would love to talk to you about how you have that discussion.

At July 6, 2011 at 12:47 PM , Blogger Hilary said...

Oh and great post!!! Great song! Great message!


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