From A to Z
Create a short story, piece of memoir, or epic poem that is 26 sentences long, in which the first sentence begins with “A” and each sentence thereafter begins with the next letter of the alphabet.
A day in the life of Danielion is a day in the life of Danielion. Big things sometimes happen, but it is always interesting. Children of various ages seem to make an appearance: a toddler to teenagers. Danger is just around every desk.
Everyone was more or less working, but one student in the back had his headphones on and his head down. Frankly, I was not that surprised; my love of the English language generally seems to outpace that of many of my students. Going back to my wayward charge, my master plan was simply to put my hand on his shoulder and gently nudge it. However, the scenario changed dramatically when I neared the student and he growled, “I’m not in the mood, dog. You better back up.” I didn’t back up, but I stopped and considered my options: to engage or not to engage. Just then, I remembered a training video that suggested confronting angry students was a recipe for disaster. Keeping that in mind, I paused for about fifteen seconds as I felt the eyes of my class follow me far more closely than they would for an academic lesson. (Learning comes in many different forms and is most effective when real situations can be referenced or, in this case, lived.) My pause was intended to demonstrate that my actions would be dictated by neither fear nor anger. No student is particularly intimidating with their head on the desk, but I knew that if this student chose to stand up, he would be towering eight inches above me. Of course, fighting a teacher is always a losing battle. Put your fist through a teacher’s face and it’s off to juvie, or lose to a teacher after you swing on them, get laughed at, and then off to juvie. Quietly, I returned to my seat and observed the placid scene, getting up to help students with questions, but then returning again to my throne of contemplation. Right before the bell rang, about five minutes until the end of class, I walked to the door and called Mr. Tall-and-Grumpy to follow me out into the hall. So the moment of truth had arrived. The students perked up and watched as the two of us left the happy confines of class. Understanding is a powerful thing, and it was this that led me to ask my threatener, “What’s going on?”. Visibly regretful, my student said that this girl had him all frustrated and he wasn’t normally like this. We had a moment of apology and acceptance as I reiterated that you can’t act like that in the world, especially if you are huge. Xenophobia, or colloquially racism, also suggests my student would be at an even greater disadvantage in life if such an unpleasant exchange were to occur in a less friendly locale. You know what, I saw this kid the other day, and he was telling other kids that I was a great teacher. Zero tolerance is not the same as being an asshole, and that is all I have to say about that.