Friday, March 4

on the politics of invisibility and peace

Sir has arrived home from the Yr 12 Camp.

Yes yes, amongst the disclaimers of "this one time, at Yr 12 camp", & "at this Yr 12 Camp We......".
No. What happens on camp, stays on camp.

The bestest beastiest teachers must know why... we are dehydrated, inhibited, censored shells of our former selves during and (especially) after camp. We are a tiny cog in the machine of the education bureaucracy in the beginning and a shade of that cog by the end. The lines of communication are cut in such a manner that it is difficult to contact each other let alone students or parents of students while Camp ensues. Camp is the "c" word... it is hell and continues to be hell.

As a professional; and having stated "what happens on camp, stays on camp", we laugh in the faces of the civilians that think this statement to be a joke. It is not. The shimmering vision of Sir's home, with almost katten and cat running wild, is a mere fantastic construct while one is on camp. The reality of night watch, outwitting 17 year olds and sexual harrassment, defusing "punch on" bombs, finding hidden girls and punishing the "party room", redirecting youths at large with nothing but voice and prior relationship (if any), is time consuming. So.... we don't sleep.

Yes there is a "Leaders" cabin. Where are the leaders? Who are the leaders? We are all. Awake, walking, roving, knocking on doors.... until 6am, thats where. What happens when a teacher goes to sleep? She wakes up another one to take her place. True? True.

This post is a pro teacher rant (of course), *but* also a pro queer teacher rant. There are lots of situations that occur on camp that are about he/she him/her them/they it's/his. There are also lots of situations that are about she/she, him/him, her/her, it/they. Where does Sir find herself? Right on the interface of he/her she/she it/them. Ha!

In the distance at home in the katten/cat haven, hearing the 6pm Buddist bell ring/the 7pm "homemade icecream" truck bell ring, this idea is at a very comfortable distance. But Sir does not want to relegate the things that happen on camp to the back parts of hir memory any more. There is a place for the queer peacemakers. And everyone knows it.

Why else put the two peaceful ladies (one openly queer, one extremely peaceful and forceful..... at 2am) in with the cook and the MC at the end of the cabin of interface? Because the cook and the MC will be exhausted and the queer will have control of those "strange girl" cabins. And will control those "strange girl" cabins. Again and again. The relationship is clear.

Will control. What a hatefu use of terminology. As if young people are to be controlled. No. Respect and unity. Love and kindness. Until disrespect... then, well, negotiation and trust. This point is crucial. Without trust, there is no relationship... ergo without trust there is no love.

Love of the other is not easy. This is why women and women of difference (colour, race, sexualiy, class, charisma, power) are separated aoutomatically by those in power. This is why the others are placed together.. to placate each other. Is this the best way to proceed? Perhaps... when we speak of youths that are queer and those that care for them. But adults? More, much more thought needed from those in the higher cogs of bureaucracy.