My Job Is Better Than Your Job, I Just Wanted You to Know

2 Sep

Been reading my fellow writers’ Facebook posts. They have jobs at universities. They talk about how old their buildings are, about who they know, about the people they will be teaching with, about the conferences where they’ve been booked to teach, but I have nothing to brag about. My students can’t spell. Their sentences are hellish. Punctuation non-existent. But they write, and they struggle to get down the words on the page.

Had a boy this week who came into the hospital for suicidal ideations. He told me he couldn’t read or write. I believed him. He’s country as dirt mixed with chickenshit. Sometimes I can’t understand him. I have to ask him a few times, “Huh? Say that again.”

The first day in my class I gave him a computer task, a game I let autistic kids play. It’s for those who really struggle with writing. And he played it. He sat at the computer and never whimpered, never looked around the room to see what we were doing.

Then the next day he entered class and announced, “I’m ready to write.” The little joker. He played me. He thought he’d get off easy by playing dumb. And he played me to the beat.

It took him thirty minutes to fill a page in a composition notebook, but he did it. He wrote a story. It was simple, for he is a simple boy. And when it was his time to read at the table, he said, “I feel sick at my stomach.” He’s shy, stupefying shy. He has dirty blonde hair. He has a little, fuzzy, brown mustache. He’d look better if he shaved. He’s 16, going on 12. He told me he wanted to be called, “Beck.”

I asked him why, and he said, “Because all of my girlfriends are named Becky.”

“So you have a thing for girls named Becky?”

He grinned wide, his little mustache stretching with his smile. He said, “Yep.”

These are my students. I teach kids who haven’t been taught. I love every one of them like my own child. Now try to up that one, you Facebook braggers.

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One Response to “My Job Is Better Than Your Job, I Just Wanted You to Know”

  1. Mr. A September 3, 2011 at 1:53 pm #

    Not sure that can be upped! 🙂

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