I've been working the high school beat for seven years and I've learned a lot about working in a high school. I'm good at my job and I've learned to do it with as little fuss as possible. Part of it, I guess, is that I talk to the kids, listen to them, and try to notice what's going on around me. Another part of it is that I've got a cops mentality in that what the school administration might consider a problem doesn't much register on my radar at all. The vast majority of the problems in a high school don't have a law-enforcement application. As a result, I spend a lot of time with a bemused look on my face. It isn't a law enforcement problem, and I'm not going to get involved.
Today I learned that I'm considered one of the experts on the local street gangs. That's news to me. I know really very little about street gangs. Fifteen years ago I could have been considered an expert when I was on my beat in Natchitoches, but today? Not so much.
I'm reminded what my Daddy said about experts. That an "ex" is a has-been and a "spurt" is a small drip under extreme pressure.
My boss called today and told me to attend a meeting where we'll be discussing local street gangs. He didn't say that I had a speaking part and that's good, because I don't know what I'd tell the people at the meeting.