I know that my post in March said that I would be catching up, but I have been negligent with my online voice. Much has happened since my last post, but you will have to patient with me until I can get the rest of my posts listed. In the meantime, I will post my most recent news.
On Friday, Durango had their annual Battle of the Sexes assembly. This assembly is by far the most popular and entertaining assembly of the year. Usually the assembly consists of various school groups dancing and a few silly relay games with one of the sports teams. This year the students were treated to the rare performance of Durango's famous FIVA dance squad.
Our student female dance group is known as Durango's Dance DIVA and the faculty dance group is the FIVA. I was one of 12 lucky participants in this years group and we brought down the house. My friend Julie always does a stellar job choreographing a routine that contains the latest dance moves and the most popular music. The students were out of their seats screaming in pleasure as we rocked the house. It was tons of fun, but halfway through I wondered if I could keep up the pace. My mouth was so dry that I had a hard time breathing, but the adreneline was pumping and I finished strong.
My students have informed me that there is video on youtube of our performance, but after a couple of hours of searching I have only found last year's video (still good, but we didn't get to finish because of a destroyed sound system). If I manage to find the link I will add it to my blog so that you can enjoy.
I must confess that I am by far the worst dancer in the group, but I still have a great time. On the way out of the gym to return to my classroom for some after school grading, I was stopped by a student. Initially, I thought the student looked familiar, but I couldn't place her. While I was quickly trying to pull up a name one of the special education aides was next to her and told me that it was Claudia. As soon as I heard her name I remembered her. She was one of my world history students during my first year teaching. A sweet girl, who would always make sure I got her employee discount at Panda Express whenever I was there. I was surprised that it took me so long to remember her until I really looked at her. She had huge tracheotomy scares along her throat and she couldn't speak. I had no idea that she had been injured and I was stunned. Not knowing what to say I kept asking her questions, which of course, she couldn't answer. She indicated that she wanted a hug and I almost lost it during our embrace. Leaving the gym I definitely shed a few tears.
I spent the weekend trying to find out what happened and at a co-workers babyshower on Saturday I heard the tale. She had skipped school January of '08 during "Senior Ditch Day" and while sledding on Mt. Charleston ran into a tree and split her head open. She wasn't expected to survive and spent a number of months in a coma. After she came out of her coma there was no hope that she would walk or talk. She can walk, but still struggles and she is still working on her ability to speak. It was heartbreaking for me to see her...I could by looking in her eyes how much she wanted to say and yet how she just couldn't. This is just another reminder to me of how much my students have to deal with, most of the time I never even aware of their struggles.