Saturday, February 09, 2008

Update

We had a field trip. It was dumb. I got a sunburn (wtf?!). My students think my inhaler is absolutely fascinating. I use a spacer with it and they have taken to referring to it as la teta. Teta literally means "tit," but it's what people colloquially call a baby bottle. The Big Writing Test is very fucking soon. I have a small handful of students who are going to fail no matter what anyone does to help them, and that is always sad. Maya seems to be improving. She isn't red-eyed every day now. I am still watching Nsima for anything I can report. Anything.

One of my students, Sandra sat with me at lunch during the field trip. We talked a little while and she said, "I don't feel like my father cares about me at all."

Anyone reading my other blog knows I Have Issues. So hearing her say that made me tense immediately. I asked her why she felt that way and she repeated some things he said that sounded careless to my ear. And on the tip of my tongue was, "Oh, of course your father cares about you. I'm sure he loves you very much. You just misunderstood." But, Jumping Christ on a pogo stick, what does that really tell the kid? "You are wrong, wrong, wrong." And what if her father really doesn't care? Mine didn't.

"I care about you very much, Sandra, and I am enjoying your company right now for our lunch. Do you feel like you can tell your father exactly what you told me? You don't have to, but it might be good to let him know how you are feeling instead of keeping it all inside."

I don't know if it was the right thing to say, but it was definitely better than telling her she was wrong.

One of my boys was afraid to go up in a high elevator, but he decided he would do it. I would have had no problem with him remaining below if he wanted. I went with him and held his hand. He said it was really scary and horrible, but he felt okay that he had done it. The other kids were really good to him about it and there was no mockery of his obvious fear. Meanwhile, a boy in another class stayed down below with his mother. He was scared of the elevator too, and cried. She decided to protect him from the terror of the elevator. I see her at school every day and I like her very much. I wish I could tell her how she is completely smothering her son with her need to take care of him. The child is morbidly obese and is having a great deal of trouble doing anything for himself. If she doesn't stop it, he's going to hate her.

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