The world of teaching is a labyrinth without any apparent escape…
Oh wait, May 18th is the last day of the school year and I am marking the days off the calendar in an obsessive way of escaping this dismal reality. Every day I am here, I praise my fellow teachers who have been here for years and years and years. They are humble, hard-working, tolerant people who choose to put up with students who act, think, feel, and say that we are wasting their time. Students who come to school just to be around their friends, to play video games next to each other, and to play sports. Students who turn their backs to you while you’re talking, walk away from you when you ask them to stop, and refuse to give you their phone when they won’t stop using it. I see more foreheads than eyes every day of the week, and it’s really, really bothersome. Of course, there are exceptions, and they stand out like a unicorn among donkeys. But only one or two…

The Labyrinth is a creepy movie with rad sets and costumes, exceptional puppet work, and a fantasy like element that can lead children to have bad dreams. It is weirdly pedophilic, with some catchy David Bowie songs that will leave you questioning whether you actually like his music or not.

While I watched the movie with my class, I secretly yearned to be in that maze rather than in the classroom maze I am in now. To be somewhere people appreciate you being there (like Ludo), some place that is adventurous and fun… hmm…. maybe like, home! I told the principal the other day that I wasn’t coming back next year as a full-time teacher, and when he asked “Why?” I summed up a million reasons into one, “To be with my family.” But I will say this, if I was teaching in a school where students were grasping onto the education in an attempt to better their lives- I would happily stay. But instead, I teach students who are going to follow their parents’ footsteps by working on fishing boats, doing manual labor, and whatever else that makes them a butt-ton of money. They want to be welders, slope workers, fisherfolk, and mechanics. Most of them don’t seem to care about communication, music, writing, reading, art, travel, geography, history, mathematics, science, any of the stuff we are teaching… They don’t care about David Bowie, Jim Henson, and where the state of Arizona is located on map just like they don’t care about Rosa Parks, Ray Charles, and D-Day. All they want to do is stare at their phones, play video games, and play more. Play, play, play. And you know what, that’s exactly what I wanted to do at that age, which is why I joined the Army at 17. Because I screwed off during high school and I, unfortunately, didn’t have parents to follow in their successful, money-making footsteps. I would have graduated high school and started working at a hotel if that were the case. Perhaps I am resentful toward the students for that reason, because I know that they can dick off their entire school day and go home to parents that will give them jobs that pay them more than I make.

Have you ever been disrespected by fifteen, twenty, thirty or more people in a day over and over and over? It’s tough.

Damn, I wish I was in the Labyrinth right now.

What stood out from the Labyrinth during this viewing was the young girl’s pursuit of her one and only goal, to get her little brother back. She was pulled this way and that by various opportunities, fancy objects, and weird characters- but she kept on driving forward to complete her goal of finding her brother. And in the end, she did just that. She said, “Fuck you” to all of the other shit that stepped in her way and continued to pursue her goal instead of everybody else’s. And that, my friends, is what life is all about; and what the teenage boys and girls are doing right in front of me everyday in class. They pursue their own goals instead of mine, and sometimes it is infuriating. But in the end, it is our life to live.

Thank you students for reminding your teacher of this important fact of life. Thank you Jim Henson for creating another strange, dark, weird movie.

Published by secretgardenalaska

A family of four living off grid in Alaska.