At 11:30 AM I walk into lunch duty, where my job is to make kids be quiet. This is the obverse of my real job, which is to get kids to talk. The cafeteria is dark and too warm and smells of old chicken. I say the children need to put their heads down on the tables; they need to be quiet.
A knot of Kindergarten boys are disputing amongst themselves. I walk over to sort things out and they tug at my arm and the bottom of my shirt. They want me to know that Darius's daddy died. Darius tells me he went to the funeral yesterday; he wants Mark to stop laughing. Mark says he isn't laughing. Mark's father is also dead. Tyrone says Darius's father was shot, just like Tyrone's father. And David's father was shot, too, in front of him in the car when he was two! The boys are excited. They are finding common ground.
I say I'm so sorry. I say the children need to put their heads down on the tables. They need to be quiet.