The Manic Monday word for today is Drop. Visit Mo to see other Manic Monday participants.
One of my old students was officially dropped from her new program today. It was a great opportunity, a paid training program in landscaping with internships with the city parks. She loved it. She came into what can only be called a series of unfortunate events which ultimately culminated in her termination. However, as she had been doing so well, her program director called a meeting of people in her network so we could see what her next steps would be. I went to the meeting, her counselor was there, we were supposed to conference in her case manager, but no student. She had officially dropped out. The meeting was short. Her chance to get back into the program was over.
When I was working with Wards of the State, I was constantly confronted with students who had been dropped from one thing or another. The biggest drop they experienced was that from their families. In some cases, families really tried to hold on to the students that ultimately ended up in front of me. In others, their families simply didn’t care. Either way, it set up a mentality in many of them that there was very little in life that they could control. They then were dropped from various educational institutions. Even though some of those drops were self-selected I think, in many cases, they could have been prevented by the use of better support networks. By the time I met them, they were jaded and distrustful of authority.
When we would schedule meetings to discuss their futures, goals, problems, etc., they would often fail to show up. Sometimes, when we would see changes in behavior the student would drop off the face of the earth before we could even schedule an intervention. While frustrating, I have come to see two things that I think contribute to the students dropping their obligations. The first is that if a student has a problem and a meeting is scheduled to fix that problem the student perceives that the adults will be making a decision as to their future for them. They don’t believe that they will have a true voice in the discussion. Therefore, they see the meeting as a waste of time and drop it. Secondly, dropping out of activities becomes a sort of self-assertion. They are finally in control of something that impacts their future and they want their decision to be heard. The sad thing is, not too many people are going to listen to a dropout, with obvious exceptions of course.
When I think of all the young men and women who are out there, who are not in school nor are they working I wonder what they are doing. What are their reasons and what is their motivation? Are they asserting their independence, albeit in a misguided and detrimental way or are they merely under the impression that their actions are inconsequential and therefore action itself is worthless? What can we do to fix this problem? How do we get them to drop back in?
The unguessed songs from last week are below.
2. And I tell you everything/ And hope that you won’t tell on me/ Not give you anything/ And know that you won’t tell on me. Softer, Softest. Hole
3. So here it is/ Fuck it/ Friends or no friends/ I’ve had enough bullshit to last me clear to the end. On The Down Low, Pharcyde