Author's note: One day I was teaching my English II class and I was thinking that parents and the community and the general public have no idea what these kids are doing and thinking. It has absolutely nothing to do with the lesson of the day. The discussions I overhear and what I see eats away at my insides, and I can't sleep without nightmares. While we adults debate the issues of education, these kids are dealing with the biggest troubles in their lives and they could care less what they need to learn. Some of the issues they survive would cripple and scar me for life, but they have so much stuff coming at them that they handle these situations like I handle what to have for supper! I look at them with a mix of shock and amazement. How they ever turn in an assignment to me is surprising. I don't know whether to be outraged at their criminal ways or to take them home and give them a decent meal, a bath, and a warm bed. I just know that we are missing the truth about their lives and the truth is, that it is Hell in their world, almost every day and not for reasons you might imagine. Many of the things I write about are based on some level of actual truth and all of the students have some elements of behavior I have observed over the years in my classes but, no event, or student, is based on any actual story, nor person, but a kind of fictional truth of what I know to be true .