The Life of Bon: The weirdest things

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The weirdest things

Sometimes the weirdest stuff happens to me.

Take yesterday for example.

The last bell of the day had rung, school was wrapping up, and I was working on a few odds and ends before heading home.

Enter:  Brad.

Brad was a student last year.  He hated me.  And I didn't much care for him, either, if you want to know the truth of the matter.  He didn't hand any of his assignments in, showed up late for class every single class, and was always trying to distract the other students.  In my favorite class, too!  How dare he!

One morning I showed up to work at 7 am only to be accosted by Brad's mother who had been waiting outside my door. 
She demanded to know why Brad had an F. 
I showed her the gradebook. 
She demanded I let him hand in a writting assignment that was due a month ago. 
I said no. 
She told me that there has to be exceptions to every rule and I can't treat all students the same because everyone learns differently, and a good teacher would let Brad hand the assignment in, and what did I know anyway because I was just some young, dumb first year teacher?
I said that if Brad had shown an inch of effort even once during the school year I might be more yielding.
She asked me if I knew of a teacher that Brad would work better with.
This is when I got kind of sassy.
"You mean a teacher who doesn't assign any writing and who doesn't expect their students to adhere to deadlines and learn to be responsible?  Maybe you should teach him English."

She didn't like that much.

Brad's mom left. 
I sat down and cried.

This job requires real thick skin and sometimes my skin is thin.

I fully expected Brad to transfer out of my class that day.  Instead he came to class, avoided eye contact, and put his head down for the entirety of the period.  A week passed, Brad was still coming.  The end of the quarter came and Brad stayed.  I was shocked when he was still with us at the end of the year.

In my year with Brad, he managed to hand in one writing assignment. It was a page and a half long.  All one sentence.  Not a period, comma, or capitalized letter in sight.  The paper was an insult to me as a teacher.  I knew Brad was capable of so much more, but I saw it as his 16 year old way of sticking it to the man.  (Believe it or not, Brad, I've been there before, and I know all about getting upset with the man.) 

It was like I could hear Brad's taunting voice as I read his paper.  "Yah, you're going to make me do writing to pass your class?  Ok, but you can't make me spell right.  You can't make me punctuate.  Enjoy reading this paper, suck-ah!"

I gave Brad a 50% and told him his mechanics were an embarrassment to our country.  Then I remembered my college profs told me that in every paper I read, I need to comment something positive.  (You can't just tear those kids down completely, people!  They're sensitive!)   So, as an after thought, I scribbled "Great Voice!"

I breathed a sigh of relief when last year was over and Brad was out of my class.

This year, when checking my rolls a few days before school began, I searched carefully to see if Brad would be joining me as a junior.  He would not.  Life was good.

That's why it was weird when Brad strutted into my classroom yesterday afternoon.

"Brad!  What in the world are you doing here?"
"I want to see if I can switch in to your class."
My jaw hit the floor.
"I want to see if I can switch in to your class."
"You're joking."
"Brad. You hated me last year."
"That's not true.  I just always came in late and that pissed you off for some reason."
"Aaaaaaand you never did your homework...Aaaaaaand the only paper you ever turned in was just one sentence..."
"Yah... I didn't too good on punctuation and crap.  But you said I had great voice!"  He added with a goofy grin.  (While I'll be!  My profs were right!  He remembered the one positive thing I had ever said to him!)
"But... why would you want to switch in?"  I was vainly trying to get Brad to change his mind.  "I assign a lot of writing.  And we read like a million books in my class.  I was surprised you survived last year to be honest with you."
"I know...  I was too, actually.  But now I really miss your class.  You were a good teacher."

Well!  Thank you!  It's about time someone started getting some credit around here!

Kids these days, they can be quite baffling!  I spent last night and the better part of this morning thinking about how weird it was that Brad wanted to switch back into my class after the utter Hell he had inflicted upon me last year.

This morning during my prep period, I was pondering the above mentioned incident when Weird thing #2 happened.

A kid I have never seen before wandered in to my classroom. 
"I don't know you" Boy said.
"I don't know you either," I replied.
"What's your name?" Boy asked
"None of your business."
"Are you new here?"
"Not really.  I taught last year."

And Boy left.

And then....


Weird thing #3 happened in second period... a girl was sitting at her desk eating out of a tub of frosting with a fork. 

In class. 



Blame all the weirdness on Halloween?

(PS... I'm sorry, but this post will have no picture.  It's just that I tried to google "weird" on google images and saw some of the most disturbing pictures I have ever seen, and now I don't want to do another internet search for at least 3 hours, so please forgive me, you will be pictureless today.)