There is very little respect for paraprofessionals. I am considered a banana-brained,

freeloading dummy, to put it nicely. I couldn’t work a true 9 to 5

if it were worked for me, says a member of the working class that hasn’t

wanted me since the 90’s. With his calloused way of looking at the good

life this teacher-rejector backhands his wrenched ideas that are meant to

screw the leisure out of me, even, after his hard work, like mine, gets nailed

back onto itself into a bent promise that’ll never see the light. I can’t wait

until the summer, I tell him. I’ll have a couple of months to wonder about

my own wants and needs, and the hope is by the end of it I’ll start feeling

like a person again, just in time to go back to a work where I’ll be in service

to a school that by design must erode at the edge of my own sense of

empowerment in order to teach children who must learn, without

becoming little pricks, how to harvest for themselves that learning how to

read closely conditions their hands as much as a blister can. Still, he thinks

through an eternal night-like jealousy that can’t pull itself out of a TV

clicker, that like vampires, we teacherly types suck his pride, gold, blood

and time out of his so-called more American body. He says to me you are

killing us hard-working types so how immoral is it for me to want you

gone? To him a great hole is always swallowing everybody and everybody

hates something and you’re obviously not working hard enough if you

don’t realize how wishing is for people who can afford to, and with the

latter I think he’s right. We are both bitter cynics sitting around a table

playing cards without anything on them, and besides imagining what kids

and the paras who shape them would become if they were suddenly

not allowed summers off, summer isn’t really off, not for any of us.