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Jumping the Freight Trains

Today's story is dedicated to my good friend Austin. I moved from Boston to Austin my freshman year of high school and of course had no friends here. On the very first day I made friends with the people who remain my best friends to this day, and I consider that to be perhaps the most fortunate event of my life.

One of those friends is Austin. Now in the military flying whirly-copters, he used to be the one guy (well, actually I could pretty much always count on Terry too) who would always be in for a crazy plan.

This scheme fell right into our laps.

How to Make Students Cry

On The Constance Chronicles

"So you talk bad about your friends? What if you never have friends again? What if nobody ever likes you and you are alone forever? How do you expect your parents to like you if your own friends don't even like you? You will never be trusted again. No one will ever trust you." Got one. I had one left.

"Everyone look at her. How has she affected you? How has she affected this trip?" I would use the others to help me on my quest. She buckled under the pressure and started sobbing.

All these girls are currently in the middle of their junior year in high school.

The charter school I taught at for three years provided incentives for students based purely on merit. Students could earn trips to museums, ice skating, Washington DC, New Orleans, NYC, even something as simple as movie days at school. I loved it. However, if you have ever worked with ten year olds, you know long-term goals are nearly impossible for them to achieve successfully. So bit by bit we had to give them a taste of the good life. The first trip was going to be open to all students even the misfits. We had planned an event at a local movie theater and the students were going to enjoy some 3D movie out at the time. I strongly felt there needed to be a lesson taught this day. I couldn't just give the students a free movie trip although that was the point. God forbid they feel some sort of entitlement... ever. So, how do you get a hundred 5th graders to appreciate something as simple as a day at the movies? Tell them you are taking them to the local prison to show them what happens if they fuck up in school.

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