Amid the craziness that goes down in an inner city high school that I bore witness to, I developed a new vocabulary.

Today I will introduce you to a word I thought I created: TUMBLEWEAVE.

tumbleweave (noun): I will set the stage for you: After a girl fight in the hallway, hair weave is left in pieces on the ground–some clumps, some braids, some tracks. That weave then gets walked on, stomped on, and dragged around the hallway until it forms a small, hairy ball. When the hallway is empty of students and a breeze flows through the windows and grants relief to the stale smell of body odor, unwashed clothes, Victoria’s Secret lotion, and institutional paint this ball-like formation–known to me as tumbleweave–will roll aimlessly down the hallway. Perhaps it will quietly pass your open doorway as you teach and you’ll catch a glimpse of it out of the corner of your eye. No, it’s not a giant cockroach nor a small rat–it’s tumble weave:  a small, poetic reminder of the delicacy of the girls who just threw down in rage only a few hours before.

Feast your eyes on this image of tumbleweave, taken my last semester of teaching. This was a tumbleweave of average size.


The urban education version of tumbleweed:


Of course, I thought I made this word up, but I just googled it and I didn’t. Go here for the Urban Dictionary definition–some day I’ll have an original thought!