I look back on that year with a lot of regret and a lot of cringing, because as a first year teacher, I was horrible. I only had the one class but I had no idea what I was supposed to be doing. The students in my class were of such a random range of abilities that I had no idea how to bridge the gap between those who couldn't and wouldn't write and those for whom writing was easy but were bored with what was happening in class. Every single day was a new adventure of dread, where I walked in trying to figure out how I was going to get this done.
There is one memory, however that stands out, and it is the memory towards the end of the year. I think the month must have been around April, and we were working on the final unit of studying ourselves. I wanted to have a class potluck and have kids bring different foods from their family's files of specialties. One student, (whose name I will NEVER forget) stood up and said, "I ain't bringing nothing to this stupid potluck." Immediately I got up and said that she needed to sit down and be respectful or leave.
Another student, (whose name I will also NEVER forget) stood up and got angry and, "If you aren't bringing anything, you sure as hell aren't eating my food." I quickly shushed her and asked the first girl SB to leave the classroom and go talk to the dean.
SB got up to leave and I helped guide her outside and as I was shutting the door, she suddenly turned with fire in her eyes and pulled the door back open and reached towards and behind me to grab the other female, KF. Suddenly I was stuck in between the two of them and was dragged out into the corridor. As the two girls began tearing into each other, I somehow (superhuman fearful strength) managed to wiggle my way out and began screaming at the girls to stop. At this point both girls had gotten full fledged into the fight. Several teachers came out into the hall and someone called security but all stood by watching. My students in the classroom gathered at the window and watched the action with apparent glee as the fight was pretty vicious and crazy. I couldn't stand seeing the girls ripping each other apart so I jumped on the back of SB, who proceeded to smash me against a wall so that I would let go. (I did. Because that wall smash HURT despite my layer of fat.) I continued screaming and trying to get in between the two of them to stop the fight.
It took two security guards (burly ones at that) to break them apart and when they were finally separated, there were bald spots on both girls, both girls had lost their bras, neither of them had shirts with any buttons on them and the scratch marks and bleeding were something out of a cat-gone-feral-on-innocent-people photograph. I was shell-shocked as both girls were escorted down to the office and I went into the classroom to try and gather my wits and settle the class.
When the class was over, I was shaking and I broke down in tears in my car. I couldn't imagine what had happened and what had just occurred. My back ached a bit from being smushed into the wall and my thumb had some tenderness from having the doorknob yanked from my hand. Desperate for some normalcy, I decided to go and get a cup of coffee from the Starbucks down the hill. I took inside with me a container of peach yogurt and sat in the corner of the Starbucks eating my peach yogurt and staring at a cup of coffee.
Peach yogurt always reminds me of this event and I still have to smile at my foolishness. I'm not sure what made me try and break the girls apart, but I know that I wouldn't have been happy being one of those who stood by and watched. I had to do something and so even if it was a bit foolish, I'm not sorry I got involved. My entire year of teaching is something else entirely, but the moment of getting involved, I'm not sorry.
This peach yogurt is simple to make and delicious to enjoy. It does have that tartness from the yogurt but it is fat free and totally delicious and a treat. It's such a lovely treat that it even sweetens a tough memory.
Honey Peach Frozen Yogurt
Makes about 1 quart
3 ripe peaches, peeled and cut into chunks. (about 3 cups of cut fruit and you can use a mix of white and yellow)
¼ cup honey
2 ½ cups Fage Greek yogurt
With a blender or a hand blender, puree peaches. Add, honey and yogurt and puree more.. Pour contents into ice cream maker and turn on for 25 to 30 minutes, until mixture is stiff and bunching into the blades.
Remove all frozen yogurt from ice cream maker and store it in another container. Freeze for an additional 2 hours. Serve.