Monday, August 31, 2009


Each semester I meet about eighty students, and of those eighty students I will like maybe forty. Ten will be lumps. Five will be evil or scary or creepy. Some--maybe another fifteen or sixteen or seventeen--will just be... there. They will be normal and steady and generally unrecognizable to me after the semester is over. The rest--generally less than ten--I will love. I mean love. I mean love-love-love-love-love.

Some of these students I will love for no rhyme or reason. They might be bad students. They might talk or act up when I'm at the board. They might be lazy. They might be instigators. They might challenge everything--and I mean everything--I say. They might never crack a book or think English is worth their time, but I will love them, and I will spend the next fifteen weeks trying to change their minds.

I will adore these students faithfully. I will always listen to what they say. I will be light with my reprimands. I will giggle when they crack foul jokes. I'll say, "Boys! Boys! Now, boys!" or "Girls! Girls! Now, girls!" when I'm scolding them so that they know I'm mostly charmed by whatever they are talking about now.

It's simply inevitable.

Today one of these favorites came in. This is the third time since the start of the semester (and if you're keeping track, that was only seven days ago) he's been in my office. He has a few minutes between classes, and he chooses to spend that time wandering into my office and making comments about things ranging from basketball practice to burritos. He chooses to spend that time with me instead of going to the lounge like other students, who spend their time before class checking Facebook.

I think it's just about the sweetest thing. And when he walked in today I had just finished having the best afternoon snack ever (half a bag of Parmesan Goldfish crackers). I'd put them back in my snack drawer (which is already running low and boasting only a fiber bar) when he was suddenly standing beside me, towering over me--the kid is tall--and looking like he needed a snack.

"Do you want some Goldfish?" I asked.

"Ohhhh," he said. "Goldfish. Yes!"

So I handed him my bag of Goldfish. This was a fairly sizable gesture of goodwill. After all, he is a boy who could probably consume ten of those bags of crackers for dinner, and I was letting him have free reign over my bag, my one bag, my sole bag, the bag that's supposed to hold me through the week--which it will certainly not. There are not many things I love in this world more than Parmesan Goldfish crackers (which reminds me of this, and let's just have a moment here, okay?) and my giving them up to this student was a pretty giant declaration of my love. That was me saying, I'd probably do anything for you, kid.

And I would.

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