Thursday, June 4, 2015

Putting the Puzzle Together


Students don't generally talk to me. Sometimes it's like being that proverbial. fly on the wall. They talk around me like I'm not there.

Sometimes the things I glean from snippets are brilliant, silly, or entertaining. Or shocking.

Scene #1: Period 4

Stephanie sat down in front of the instructional aide (IA). 

"Do you think we'll make it?" 

Apparently, Stephanie just learned her boyfriend had cheated on her. (I got that from bits of the conversation.) The IA didn't have much advice--more of a shrugging of shoulders. As I had not been included in the conversation (and I didn't know the particulars), I kept my mouth shut.  

Scene Aside: Period 2

Angel was supposed to be doing computer work, but she got sidetracked. She was looking up images online.  

To her friend: "This one looks like my dad's mug shot. He looked this angry." 

They were looking at actual mug shots.  

Scene #2: Period 5

Student to me: "What's the date?" 

I told her.  

"No! It's my father's birthday. I forgot." 

Well, clearly not. I reasoned that the day wasn't over yet, so a "happy birthday" after school should be fine.  

Stephanie: "That happened to me. I forgot my boyfriend's birthday. I would have forgotten completely if he had not called..." He told her it was a special day. She asked if he was being released. No. It was his birthday.  

Released. As in, from prison. Yep, Stephanie's boyfriend is in jail. 

Scene #3: Period 7

Stephanie and Angel were talking. Stephanie was still upset over cheating boyfriend. 

Stephanie: "Is he now homosexual?" 

Angel: "When my dad got out after 12 years, he was fine..." 

END 

So... Yeah...  

28 comments:

  1. Wow, the conversations I never heard when I was in high school...

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  2. Time has sure changed. I'm with Alex here. Never heard any of those conversations when I was in high school either

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    1. Neither did I. I guess they save that for the adults. (Of course, being at the continuation high school might have been part of it.)

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  3. OK ...um I am so glad I went to school when I did. I just was wondering what TV show to watch and everyone was talking about Luke and Laura from General Hospital. my mouth is open from the girl talking about her dad's mugshot.

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  4. I echo Birgit. One learns so much when students share.

    In my 2nd gr class, one girl shared that her mom was getting out jail that day. Another threw in that her mom was taken to jail last night.
    What kids have to experience!

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  5. Wow. What a day. No wonder the instructional aide shrugged. I sure don't know what to say to "My boyfriend cheated on me in jail and I don't know if we can get through it."

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  6. Oh wow, that's a bit heartbreaking. How old are these girls? It was particularly striking when the girls discussed the mugshots very casually, as if it was nothing out of the ordinary -- it's really sad that however old they are, a father's mugshot should part and parcel of normal life.

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    1. Yeah, the whole father's mug shot struck me. That she had seen it...

      The girls are either juniors or seniors, probably seniors, so 17 or 18.

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  7. In 4th grade my son made a friend in the neighborhood. We went to his birthday party to meet his mother, who - um, had just gotten out of jail (and not that long after, she was back in). My son eventually drifted away from this former friend. Sadly, this boy, now grown, has spent part of his adult life in prison. I read in the paper about a year ago he had been arrested, allegedly for a felony. He could have been one of the teens in your blog post. It's sad that these kind of conversations seem to be just another day in the teaching life. Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

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    1. It tells a lot about the students, too. I think I understand these girls a bit better now.

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  8. Well...they don't have to talk to you for you to hear some interesting tidbits of their lives! SO much kids are dealing with today at such a young age.

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    1. True. And all the best bits are overheard.

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  9. So yeah!!!! Poor kids. Let's hope it's not a vicious cycle.

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    1. Well, Angel graduated today, so at least there's that.

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  10. I worked in a high school for a couple of years where this was the norm, comments like "I can't wait for the new jail to open, means Dad will be close to home" from a 12 year old were heart breaking but really common (as was arriving at school and not be able to get in the gates as there was a cop car parked across the driveway to pick up a kid)

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    1. That school must have been in an interesting neighborhood.

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    2. There were weird dynamics - kids in multi million dollar properties, right through to kids who were homeless and still getting to school each day. As crazy as it was, I loved the kids at that school. Being told to eff off was a a daily occurrence, but some of them had such crazy home lives it was to be expected! One of the universities actually opened a campus in the town in an attempt to get kids to uni - when I left it was working, which in turn was starting to help the massive unemployment rate lift. It was crazy, but there were successes and i loved them for that!

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    3. Yeah, if the kiddos can see a way out... Sounds like a fascinating place.

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  11. It's so sad for these to be ordinary, everyday things for them. It's a shame that they're growing up accepting them as normal. I wonder if they'll be able to break the cycle.

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  12. I used to sub frequently at a branch library where many teens with family and/or friends in prison hung out. It amazed me how they considered imprisonment a normal part of life.

    (still working on getting my correct contact info as a sign in)

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  13. When son was in high school, he tended to gravitate towards kids like these so I heard plenty from them if I would just shut my mouth and listen.

    betty

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    1. That's the trick. If you say something, they'll clam up.

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  14. This kind of stuff didn't go on when I was in school.

    Sunni
    http://sunni-survivinglife.blogspot.com/

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    1. At least not with the people you hung out with. (I admit, it didn't happen with my crowd, either.)

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