Saturday, January 15, 2011

A Name Swap

The bell hadn't even rung yet when I noticed the three boys in the back far corner of the room.  Instead of entering the room, going to their seats, and getting ready for the period, they were playing around.  As I couldn't get to them quickly (due to the teacher's bench, the distance to them, and the new student who was checking in), I had to yell at them to stop that right now.

I was ready for a bit of a battle with this group.  The class was called survey of biology, and it was for the students who couldn't handle the standard biology curriculum.  The rest of the Friday (regular biology classes) had gone relatively smoothly; the classes were a bit loud but on task.

I was not expecting the three boys in fifth period.

I finished taking roll and getting the new student squared away, and then I gave the class the assignment.  Then I could walk around the room.  I headed for the three boys.  They were playing, and I needed to get them working.

The largest of the three introduced himself as Tom.  Then he introduced the boy sitting next to him as James.  He explained that he never does any work in class, so I should expect nothing from him.

However, I knew he was not Tom.  It was luck, though, for I had marked Tom absent, and now I knew that Tom was present.  He was the boy introduced as James.

The third boy, so far unintroduced, was James.  I knew this.  For some reason, I remember James.  I'm not sure why.  I had him in class on Tuesday (where he was quiet and unremarkable).  I remember noting that I hadn't seen him in a while, so when I saw him again Friday, I knew who he was.

I turned to the actual James and said hello.  James claimed that his name was Benz.

Not-Tom was Benz.  He's another boy who I've known a while, and I couldn't remember his name until James claimed to be him.  (I remembered it was distinctive, but that was all.)  So, I said hello to the actual Benz, and he claimed to be...  Oh, now I can't remember.

They attempted to confuse me, or maybe they were confused themselves.  Benz flipped the introductions around, only making sure that he was using the wrong names for each of them.  If I hadn't been sure of who they actually were (from having them in other classes) I might have been fooled.  But Benz couldn't confuse me on this.  (Besides, I've dealt with this sort of thing before.)

Once I made it clear I knew who was who, I walked away.  I returned a couple times to check up on them.  I thought about writing them up, but I couldn't figure out how to word the referral.  And once the initial idiocy was over, they kept to themselves and didn't rile up the class (the rest of the class was working pretty well).

I guess they didn't remember that they'd had me in class before.  Then again, maybe they did.  Perhaps they thought that if they denied their names long enough, I'd believe them.  Yeah, not so much.

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