Last shift was only remarkable in that the same crap went on:

  1. JCO 5 left me on the dorm by myself, before relief staff coverage was certain, with 17 kids.  Nothing new there.
  2. Fellow JCO was left with holding the other side of the dorm with way over quota of kids.
  3. It was a 12 hour shift; another one tomorrow.  I'm burning out to a frazzle this week.
  4. Got drafted to work on another dorm for a while, where one kid went apeshit and destroyed the vacuum cleaner, poured bottles of chemicals/cleaners on the carpet, tore up the back and front area, kicked and beat and threw stuff all around him before finally getting restrained by 3 Security staff... then the REST of the kids (except maybe two, who just laughed and egged the others on) engaged in a mass running screaming pillow AND mattress fight.  Kids were swinging as hard as they could and were knocking each other over.  That went on for a while till Security bust in -- again -- and looked menacing with their spray cans out, and things SORT OF settled down.  The other visiting staff who was with me graded all those guys with all 2's... go figure.  They were CAT 1 ASSAULTING each other!
  5. Back on my own dorm, some kids didn't get up till 5:38 or so.  What was I supposed to do?  For the guys that weren't up by 5:20, they mostly got four 0's and one 1 for a total of .20 for the shift.  They were told, 4 times to get up.  They KNOW the expectation.  Everyone else that pretty much did what they needed to do without any feedback or hassle got all 4's.
  6. We still don't have any paper towels, deodorant, or toothbrushes for the kids... and who knows what else?  Who's responsible?  There seems to be shortages of supplies ALL OVER CAMPUS.

There was a buzz going around about the visit from the mysterious fellow who came around and Asked Questions.  We seem to have missed each other, but no problem.  Everything is FINE here, isn't it?  Guess it depends on who you ask...

If anyone asks me questions, before I answer, I want to have SOME idea of how things can be made/changed for the better.  Just griping to someone from Austin may FEEL GOOD, but if the guy asked you questions and DIDN'T TAKE NOTES, I would definately question his sincerity and effectiveness.  In one ear, out the other syndrome... and it won't help anyone here one bit.  If I didn't have suggestions for how to improve some of the problems I (and others) see here, then I'd want to have a list of KEY WORDS and PHRASES for them to jot down.  I want to discuss CONCEPTS, THEORIES, and think OUT OF THE BOX -- 'cause if we don't we'll be trying to treat a sucking chest wound with a band-aid.  Our sicknesses are deep and pervasive here, and it may well take some Major Surgery to save our agency and the future of the kids we're trying to rehabilitate, or whatever it is we're supposed to be doing.

One of those KEY WORDS would be DISCIPLINE.  Others that also might work for staff AND kids would be fairness, accountability, respect, consequences, etc etc -- what do those words MEAN?  What do WE mean when we use them?  A KEY PHASE to cuss and discuss could be ZERO TOLERANCE.  Trust me -- if given a proactive, reasonable, meaningful consequence for poor behavior, EVERY TIME, the kids will re-learn for the better.  All we have to do is agree on what we ALL CAN enforce, no if's and's or but's.  Out of dress code?  Sleeping on your topsheet?  Slow to respond?  Contraband?  Didn't stand at Parade Rest?  Well, sorry sonny -- yer gettin' ALL ONE'S for that shift.  You asked for it, and you get it BECAUSE YOU DESERVE IT.

Thinking Out Of The Box mode might involve something like setting up an Honor Dorm... the kids would all have to have GED's or HS diplomas, and it could be a showcase for behaviors we are trying to instill here.  They would be kicked out if they couldn't keep the bar high enough to deserve the privileges they could have.  Let them get a tasted of real-world expectations and benefits -- and they'll WANT to work to succeed. 

And why not save LOTS of $$ and cut out competitive sports with other "schools"??!  Losing 51-zip is hardly competitive, and think of all the overtime costs we could save.  MAYBE even have enough left over to re-institute MERIT RAISES for staff as was done in the past? 

Who's afraid to dream?  NOT ME!