This morning I find it necessary to perform a belated spring cleansing of the old cranium, dust off the old keyboard, and bore the shit out of some folks. I have been absent from this most wonderful cyber-medium for much too long. I keep thinking that I am a writer and I keep not writing. I smother my creative juices with the mundane pretext that I am involved in the business of educating the next generation and find that, in, that same generation is most assuredly…educating me. Staring into the face of one of my students last week, I found myself once more grateful for the opportunity to do what I do. This kid walks into my classroom during my conference period with a frown on his face, and his hands waving in the air yelling something which I can not interpret or quite simply understand. I stand, thinking that I might have to restrain him, and he grabs me in a bear hug, and tells me, “Motherf-----I made it!!!!!”
The “It” he was referring to is the fact that he had achieved the necessary grades to graduate from high school. I had a little to do with that. This young gentleman and I had crossed swords (metaphorically that is) on a few occasions when it fell to me to either personally remove him, or have him removed from class for the exhibition of truly abhorrent behavior. We have known each other for about a year and most of that time our relationship has been, well, strained. I suffer little in the way of disagreeable behavior, and he revels in displaying these selfsame behaviors I find irritating. The last thing I ever expected was that we would become close.
The last half a year I have been sort of co-teaching a class with our computer technology teacher. She is an extremely sweet and loving woman that can get even the most delinquent of adolescents to behave. I watched and learned many lessons from this Angel of the Keyboard. One of those lessons was to involve myself with student in such a manner as to display to them a sense that I care about them beyond their schoolwork.
My young friend has a desire to be a welder and, thanks to an excellent welding teacher, has grown exceptionally proficient for a lad of his age. One of my former attempts at gainful employment was as an assistant in a machine shop. While I am no hand with a torch, I can certainly recognize good work when it is in front of me. I took and interest in the work of my students taking welding, and I found it to be one of the best efforts I have made. This young man set aside his anger at me, and became a friend. Another allowed me to draw out of him a talent for poetry as displayed through hip-hop music. It felt amazing when I handed him an award for the “Most Talented Student” and heard the rest of the school cheer for him as if he were a rock star (oops! I mean Eminem).
Yet again I digress. I reached around my young friend and returned his hug. I looked over his shoulder to ensure no body could hear, and replied, “Motherf----- Okay!!!!
A good day, that was. I have had many since I last wrote on a regular basis. Perhaps this piece will be the beginning. I am off for a month on vacation. I’m going some places, to have a good time. I need to bring my notebook in from the truck and charge the batteries. Time to write.