Tsehai Russell

jimenezCurrently attending West Los Angeles College, Tsehai enjoys writing, and in the works she produces, she seeks to highlight the extraordinary in the ordinary. Every human being has a story, she believes, and every story, presented in the right way, is of interest.

Observations of a Foreign-Domestic Place

(290 words without title)

Little faces look up at her all day. Little bodies full of energy and excitement swirl about and chatter. Busy. Busy. They have so much to say. My mommy gave me a candy, my dog bit me, I have pink shoes, my bed is at my house, my baby (sister) scratched me, he pushed…shoved…tripped…me. Every thought in their heads must be expressed or the storing up of them is surely to cause them to explode. She is but one in a room of twenty-four. How does she do it? From eight am to two-thirty pm she must “manage” them. She gets them to follow a routine that helps them accomplish their tasks. She must connect with them so that they feel safe enough to take risks. Counsel them when their feelings are hurt or when they hurt someone else. They react to everything… naturally. Someone pushes (or accidently bumps) them, they push back. They want a toy, they go and get it, never mind that someone else currently has possession of it. A thought rushes through their brain; they simply must share it NOW… even if it is in the middle of a read aloud or lesson on the value of six, seven or eight. How we take for granted the number of social skills that must be taught, and who took the time to teach them. She is a Kindergarten teacher. She is the designated leader, manager, counselor, knowledge facilitator, nurse, and behaviorist. To the parents each little one is their pride and joy, and she must handle with care. Must know and keep a mental record of the accomplishments, mishaps, and slights received or caused by each and every one --every moment of the day. Ugh!



(287 words without title)

They were an odd pair. The little girl and her grandmother. The little girl was chunky and chocolate brown. Hair always immaculately done with matching barrettes and bows. The grandmother was full-figured, butterscotch complexion, short hair that struggled to reach the ponytail, and she was missing most of her front teeth. Every day she picked up her little one from school. Grandmother walked fast, and talked fast, but there was something a little disconnected in her. Grandma was always in a tizzy about something. Always on the ready to raise hell in defense of her granddaughter and grandson. She would regularly march up to the principal’s office to complain about her grandson being unfairly treated by the cafeteria manager, or the girls in the kindergarten yard bullying her granddaughter. On one occasion she was worried because her granddaughter apparently was leaving the school grounds. When asked, the teacher said that the little girl was always accounted for after recess and didn’t have any reason to believe that she had ever left the school grounds during school hours. Grandma’s stories of ill treatment became increasingly suspicious. Each time that staff followed up with the kids themselves, they always seemed perplexed; they seemed just as surprised by the story as the staff who was investigating. No one knew what to do about … or with … this very sweet and well-meaning but strange woman. It was a Thursday, and Grandma accompanied the class on a fieldtrip to the Fire Station. On Friday the little girl came to school and said that the fire truck was at her house that morning because Grandma fell out of a window. Grandma was gone. Now who will the little one follow?

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