Flood victim still feels pain of neglect


I lost interest in school. I’m suppose to write about all these kids who walk around with their heads knocked off, dragging their 10-pound backpacks, but I am one of them. I look at these kids, and smile; the beauty of it all is that most of these kids know that the geometrical outlooks on life will not lead to their vision of success. For teachers they don’t care whether you pass or fail; you will be out of the school within a few years.

“Teachers don’t have enough incentive to be motivated,” junior Chip Andrew agreed.

Last summer I lost my house in the flood. The town really came together making high piles of sandbags, but people don’t realize that it just made it worse for a lot of people, a lot of families on the other side of town.

A lot was going on that nobody was prepared for, nobody was taught specific skills for and nobody had prior knowledge on how to deal with it all. Things should have been handled differently. I could honestly see the tension and bitterness in everyone who was flooded, and didn’t agree with how things were handled.

Located around my neighborhood were various signs, protesting all they could. Signs like “Gawkers, Go home,” “Who’s city was saved?” and “Has anyone seen the mayor?”

I’ll admit to being completely bitter, especially towards school. I still am. I don’t see a point. One thing I learned is you can never be truly prepared. High school is to prepare you for the real world, real life problems and solutions, but how could I relate or even respect these people who don’t know problems bigger than their own ideologies, which are so generic and so selfish? How can anyone sit at school for seven hours listening to their perfect summer stories or about how they are having a bad hair day?

Honestly, it was too much for me to handle. I would often leave school for a break, which now I have more than a thousand detention minutes for, but it was well worth it, and it beats losing my sanity or yelling at an innocent person who doesn’t know his or her words bring much angst to me.

For some reason, I believed if I showed up I could prove to everyone that this is something I can do: Be better than what we’ve seen. I don’t know what goes on in the teacher’s lounge, but I am assuming it’s just as much gossip as the hallways. I believe this because somehow one of my previous teachers heard that I had lost my house, and she slipped me a little card, giving me hope and more support than my own family gave me.

For the summer, we had set up a “camp” on our property: a fifth wheel camper from the seventies, which always smelt bad. We were always dragging in sand. It was always impossible to ever keep clean and to keep the ants out. To avoid ants crawling on us at night, none of us really stayed in the camper.

It was just used for the kitchen sink, a pea-green baby shower which never produced more than two minutes of hot water every three hours, a toilet that always needed to be emptied and a closet. The air conditioner made a funny sound and contributed to the funny smell, but this is where we would come to cool off when our garage was getting too hot.

This life-style wasn’t uncommon; many people in the neighborhood wanted to stay close to what they had. Many people were affected by the flood, a lot of them still dealing with it. We were fortunate enough to have a standing garage, which we had built a few years previous with a bonus room on the top. So each morning I’d run around my yard in a towel, running to the clothes line to find out that my clothes were still wet. It was a war every day with an army of mosquitoes, frogs and other insects.

My sister and I would sit on our deck and fix our hair and do our make-up for the day all while listening to All Rattle and Dust, music which had inspired us to keep going. We would dig through piles of clothes, which had no specific place, to substitute our wet ones.

We would grab prepackaged food if we were lucky to get some breakfast. We would stop by Mc Donald’s for coffee each morning, brewing our own was out of the question.
As well as going to school with a lack of caffeine. We showed up late most of the time, but we didn’t care. We came everyday. Now I wonder why. I’ve lost faith in this school system everyone seems so proud of. For example, everyone was convinced that the can food drive did justice in helping out the community. It’s something we do every year; natural disasters are rare and yet went unacknowledged.

Perhaps it was boys dancing absurdly to a nineties pop band that made everyone to believe that this was the answer; to me it was a joke. Pulling quotes from kids who would search for food in the subways, who were they really trying to help?

I question the point to everything. Instead of reaching out to students who can hardly catch a break, they load them with detention minutes and give no sympathy.

The flood is what did it for me. Imagine all the students that have serious family issues, drug problems, money problems or whatever. They all take their toll on your focus at school, your belief and trust in everything.

Children are the future, and teachers must not forget that they can actually change students’ lives and help. I had no guidance, and the teachers would look the other way. Certain school officials that intended to help only made it worse due to ignorance and lack of understanding of the situation of our daily struggle.

The difference is I know what I have to do to get where I want without the help of any specific teacher, any specific school.

The real problem is the kids that can’t catch a break and don’t know where to turn and don’t know how to get where they want to go, let alone know where they want to go.

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