The N-Word

We now return to your regularly scheduled programing!  I’ve been a flaky blogger this week; things have been a little crazy.  Tuesday – I had a half day pd and then stayed at school late calling parents (every single one I have a correct number for).  Wednesday – we went on an entire 8th grade field trip = shit show.  Thursday – we had a career day and at night A and I went out for ice-cream, x2.  By the way, the title is not to imply that my business has kept me from eating, in fact, I’m sort of glad to NOT post my meals from this week!

Today was, again, crazy.  I stayed in bed to cuddle with A for as long as I could and then I headed off to school to set up.  I didn’t eat a train breakfast, I was way too deeply enthralled in my book.  This one of my favorites, I read it in 8th grade.

When I got to school I did some grading and organized for the day, plus snacked on this new Odwalla bar.


Delish!  The coffee flavor in here was divine!  Strangely, this flavor is not listed on the website.

I decided I will not be raising my voice any more this year; this meant I was calm but my kids were crazy.  I had a lesson I was really excited about and I was really sad to see it not work.  My literacy coach saw my face after the all boys class and pulled me into her office for a pep talk.  I’m doing my best to stay positive, but without consequences it is hard to keep my hopes up.

I didn’t eat lunch because I spent the entire period helping students with make-up work.

I did finally raise my voice when a (NOT African American) student said the n-word for the 20th+ time.  Our students curse constantly.  They also say the n-word at least twice a sentence.  If I’ve had no other influence, I’ve made such a big deal about language that at least most kids stop and apologize to me and try to control themselves in my room.  I’ve done several lessons on literature that talks about the n-word being hurtful.  I keep having to address it, but that’s life.  But today I LOST it.  I literally could not hear that word another time.  I flipped out and made a security guy from the hallway remove S* from my room.  So mad I was shaking I said to the class, “I understand you guys use that word just to mean person but half of my friends are black it is offensive and I do not come here to have nigger yelled in my face.”  I went back to my lesson and five minutes later K* raised his hand and said “Miss, can I ask a question?  What does that word mean?”  I ended up taking 10minutes and leading the class through the lineage of the n-word.  When I was done, a student was like “oh, that is bad,” and several kids nodded.  Are you kidding me that no one has taught these kids where the n-word comes from?  They were all curious and interested, how could they be 13-17 and not know this?  I am really glad that I had an opportunity to teach them, but why is this lesson coming so late?

After school I stayed to grade and put up my outside bulletin board and then called several parents.  As excited as I was to get home and get something for “lunch” I ended up not leaving until 5.  On the walk home I walked with a fellow teacher and stopped in at Tea Lounge for a mint tea, which made me happy.  I’m not sure what the deal is tonight, but a snack is in my very near future!  Be back soon.

How do you feel about the n-word?


I am attending Self in the Park tomorrow and I just realized that I’m going alone!  I bought the ticket as soon as they came out and kind of forget about it.  Is anyone going who wants to meet up with me?  I feel a little nervous navigating by myself.


9 Responses to The N-Word

  1. snackface says:

    I don’t like to use the word “hate” very often, but I hate the n-word. I really do. I hate it when white people use it, especially. I’m not sure what to make of my love of rap, or Lil Wayne for that matter, though. I don’t know how you do your job. You are amazing, furreal.

  2. verbalriot says:

    I hate that word. I also can’t believe those kids didn’t know what it means…

  3. Amelia says:

    I’m going to the SELF event with my roommate. You’re totally welcome to meet up with us! Just shoot me an email. I’ll have my blackberry with me, so I’d be able to get emails even if you send one tomorrow morning! Hope to see you there! 🙂

    • Emily says:

      Amelia – Thank you thank you – I just sent you an e-mail!

      Mara – nuts is such an understatment!

      snackface – thank you for the teacher ❤ I have a rap obsession too!

  4. were your kids nuts this week? My kids were nuts this week…so glad its the weekend!

  5. Alison says:

    It seems amazing to me that kids don’t know the meaning of that word. But…if all the “cool” hip hop stars and rappers are using it, I can see its appeal. All the more important for parents and educators to make sure kids understand history.

  6. carolinebee says:

    i agree with Alison completely…and i definitely cringe when i hear it

  7. thescoop says:


  8. Melissa says:

    wow that’s a lot to deal with. you handled it well. i am also suprised they didn’t know. at least they raised their hand.

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