I wrote a number down on my hand today. It was 038162. I can still see it faintly. I had a student who was suspended and I tried to enter a grade for her but she had been taken out of the system for the suspension and not put back in. If you know your Goffman or Foucault, you'll know instantly that my student knew her number and repeated it for me without hesitation. She identifies with that number and so do so many of my students. It's how they pay for lunch. It's how they see their grades and how they get into and out of trouble. It dehumanizes them and quantifies their lives ala George W Bush and his No Child Left Behind. It's also a convenient product of the technological age. In some ways, the number affords my kids some anonymity and in others, it sanitizes their place in society. You don't hug child number 44728. You don't give a sweet valentines book mark to student #732914679. But you do punish the heck out of the miscreant marked #16739428565. Or was that "inmate"?
Anyway, I emailed the counselor about the snafu and to get her put back in the system. But the counselors are pretty busy right now, dealing with the emotional fallout of the death of one of our teachers on Monday.
Yes, someone died. No, it was not a natural or expected death. No, I'm not going to come out and say it.