The Life of Bon: My pantless friend

Friday, March 30, 2012

My pantless friend

I am late on my post today. But like any of you noticed.  Or cared.  RIGHT?!?

The reason I am late is because I really needed a certain picture for my post today.  I tried to find the picture via stalking all of my students' twitter accounts, and when that didn't work I realized I would have to wait until school the next day to hunt my student down who had the picture I wanted.

I found her upstairs, outside the ceramics classroom at 7:35 a.m.  "Oh my gosh I need that picture you took of Jake with his pants off yesterday!" I said dramatically.  She gave me a quizzical look.  I mean, come on, how many times do you hear your teacher say that they want a picture of a student with their pants off? It could get turned real wrong real quick- I realize that. 

But she sent the picture to me.  And I was happy.  And oh-so-prepared to write this blog post.

A couple things you should know before we dive right in here with pantless picture.  Jake is my biggest class clown.  I had him last year as a sophomore, I've had him this year as a junior, and I'm hoping senior year makes third time a charm!  When Jake first strutted into my classroom as a fresh-out-of-middle school goof ball, I was terrified.  I was brand spanking new on the job, one day of teaching under my belt.  Allthough confidence had never been an issue for me, I was worried that Jake was going to eat me alive.  Metaphorically speaking.  And also literally speaking, I suppose.  I mean, he's a big kid.  He could squash me like a bug if he wanted.  But that's beside the point, isn't it?  The point is that I was intimidated by this giant sized fifteen year old class clown. 

The first day of class, Jake demanded to know how old I was and if this was my first year teaching.  "No,"  I lied not very convinvingly.  There are times when lying is justified, my friends, and in front of a mean sophomore who could swallow you in one piece whole is a good time to lie.

The first half of that year I complained about Jake daily.  I even cried once.  He was constantly disrupting the class, constantly getting all the students to revolt against me, constantly undermining my authority, if you could even say that I had an authority at that point.  I was a first year teacher for crying out loud, fresh off the boat from my carefree-easy-breezy college days.  Jake and a couple of his buddies made my eight period class 85 minutes of living hell for me.  I couldn't control him.  He was too influential.  Too sassy.  Too smart. 

I tried putting him in every corner of the class.  It didn't work. 
I tried holding him after class and talking to him, "Jake, you are a leader in this class, people will follow you.  I need you do use those leadership skills to be a good example."  It didn't work. 
I tried phoning his parents.  It didn't work.
I tried freaking out with a burst of sudden anger in front of the whole class, and made them all read and sit silently for twenty minutes because of Jake's misbehavior.  It didn't work.

It wasn't pretty, folks.

As much as I disliked Jake, it was pretty obvious that the feelings were mutual.  One day, Jake came into the classroom with a paper for me to sign to switch classes.  He wanted out.  But a flaw in the counseling system wouldn't let him switch- made him wait until the end of the quarter.  And so Jake continued coming to my class inspite of his desire to get out, and I continued to deal with his troublemaking antics, inspire of my desire for him to get out.

And then, about mid year something changed.  I don't know what it was, exactly.  I wish I could find a huge crowning event that improved our relationship, but really we just somehow turned a corner.  The days of teacher vs. class clown were gone. For whatever reason, Jake's annoying actions somehow became endearing to me.  I laughed at his jokes.  I enjoyed his presence.  And then, slowly, Jake came to my side. He worked on his homework. He still goofed off, still came bursting into the classroom late, still interrupted my teaching with inappropriate comments, but somehow I didn't care as much anymore.

I loosened up on him, and in turn, he seemed to loosen up on me. We finished sophomore year with success.
In early August I checked my class lists for the next year's students and saw that Jake was once again enrolled in my class, this time as a junior.  What surprised me most wasn't that Jake was in my class, but that I was excited to be spending another year with him.

This year with Jake has been nothing but sunshine and flowers.  We've reached a comfort level with each other, and who would have thought- Jake is even earning A grades in my class!  He continues to disrupt the class, and he is ever the class clow, but now I like it, and when Jake is gone, I miss the goofiness and fun that he brings to the class.

NOW... ("When are you going to get the the pantless picture???" I can hear you screaming from here.  Cool your jets.  We're getting there.  I promise.)  Jake walked in yesterday, dressed up for his lacrosse game.  The requirement was to wear a shirt and tie.

So, naturally, Jake wore this.

I laughed for about five straight minutes, demanded that Jake let me take a picture of him and marveled at his complete resistence to the dress code.  The whole class watched in stunned amazement.

We dived into The Great Gatsby and all thoughts of Jake with only boxer shorts on were completely erased from my memory.  The bell for lunch rang and the kids were off, 30 minutes of mealtime freedom before they would be forced to reenter my classroom.

As the bell rang for the kids to come back to class, a steady stream of 17 year olds reentered my class in fits of laughed.  "Teacher you are just going to absolutely die when you see this!" they all screamed.  "Teacher, have you seen Jake yet?!?!?"  Jessie burst into the room.

And then Jake walked in. 
Completely pantless. 
Or so it seemed.  He had acutally rolled up his boxer shorts.  I instantly broke into a fit of giggles and had to cover my face in a book to keep from losing it completely.  "What?!?!"  Jake demanded, a huge grin stretching across his big, goofy face, knowing exactly what we were laughing at, but loving the attention.  "What's wrong?!?  Why are you laughing?"

I suppose there is a lesson in this somewhere.  A lesson about absolutely loving people who you thought you never would.  About getting along with and learning to understand and adore people who are so different from us.  Yes, I'm sure there is a lesson in here somewhere, hidden underneath pictures of pantless students and long run on sentences.  But  it's Friday, and I'm too tired to start looking for life lessons hours before my weekend begins.  If you figure it out, let me know.  In the meantime I'll be playing some volleyball, enjoying the beautiful weather, and welcoming April with open arms.

Jake, if you read this, don't let it go to your head.  You still have to do your homework.  Quiz on chapter 2 of Great Gatsby on Monday.


  1. Hahaha! I would have lost it. That is too funny! I have a kid just like that in my 8th period. I was so angry he took interior design when it was so clear he didn't care about it and he was just SO annoying. And then we just became friends and now he and his little clan are some of my favorite students, even if they don't understand what "hands to yourself" means.

  2. This is PERFECT. Where was this kid when I was in high school?

  3. Is this his real hair? He looks like some ancient greek hero...and forgetting to wear pants just adds to the comparison.

  4. You're such a good teacher. :) This story is so encouraging to me... I've had guys like this in my classroom. Yay Jake!

  5. You're such a good teacher. :) This story is so encouraging to me... I've had guys like this in my classroom. Yay Jake!

  6. I simply love your posts. I love your quirky-teacher self goofing off with these kids and telling us about it. You're totally the teacher I always wished I had!

  7. HAHA!!!! This is so awesome, you seem like such a fun teacher! I love how you wrote this:)

  8. HA! Love this! He is lucky that you are a teacher with such a laid back sense of humor. Sounds like there isn't ever a dull moment at your job!

  9. Oh i love, love, love this. Love how both your heart's changed and you appreciate each others differences now. Thanks for your follow, I'm now following you back.:)

  10. If I had you as an English teacher, life would be much more interesting! :)

  11. Haha I love this and I'm slightly upset that you weren't a teacher when I was there! my sister mikayla was talking about how she had this "awesome teacher who tweets funny stuff." She read me some of them and I was dying laughing and then she told me you had a blog. Me being the blog creep that I am, just had to check it out ;) love it!

  12. Just found your blog and love it! Jake seems like a good enough guy, great to hear you guys came around and funny that you post these pictures as a teacher ;-)

    love from Belgium,