Monday, December 1, 2008


Alter/altar: To change or make different; modify
An elevated place or structure before which religious ceremonies may be enacted or upon which sacrifices may be offered.
Crest: The top, as of a hill or wave.
The highest or culminating point; the peak
A usually ornamental tuft, ridge, or similar projection on the head of a bird or other animal.

Last week I was at the zoo with the altercrest kids and we found the red river hog. Some of them had never been to the zoo. Sometimes I wonder if I am really altering the crest they are about to walk over, tumble down, into drugs, gangs, violence, depression. It is a strange thing to watch someone walk over a hill, their head like a human sunset and then they are gone. I think about the people in my past who I tried to love more than the people who thought I was fun to hang out with (why did I try so hard to recruit people to the second category?) I think about Emily, the autistic girl I worked with, all the time. I know I will think about these students for the rest of my life. I will wonder if my sacrifice made a difference. But maybe even if I didn't alter the looming horizon of adulthood that they will soon walk over, at least they will be men and women who have seen a red river hog and who might remember that once there was a small band of teachers who wanted what was best for them and put up with all their shit.


Karen said...

"their head like a human sunset" I like that, Natasha. I know you're making a difference.

And was there a picture in this post? I couldn't see it.

Karen said...

I see the picture now. And once I named a mix CD "head like a human sunset."