In retrospect, however, some noticed that most of the newcomers did little talking amongst themselves, almost as if their minds were preoccupied with some overwhelming mission.
—It Happened in Georgia, by James A. Crutchfield
During a class change I was still sitting in my chair at my desk in the front of the room, exhausted, wondering if I’d ever be able to stand, when all of a sudden a seventh grader, a boy named Turbo, quietly walks in and places an enormous red apple on the corner of my desk. Turbo, who has huge brown eyes and a big smile and olive-colored skin is definitely of Italian origin because I’ve bumped into his father a couple of times and I can’t understand a word he says. I just nod and smile a lot.
Turbo says softly ... Todd, I’m looking forward to being in your class next year.
Todd didn’t know what to say. Todd was dumfounded and that’s not an attractive look for Todd or anyone in a position of undetermined leadership.
Turbo’s tall, too, and he’s standing there smiling at me. He means it. I honestly believe there are some students in my classes who are finally telling the seventh graders they raise a little historical hell in Georgia History class with Todd and the chicken while they learn some things, too. That it’s a fun class.
When I finally got my bearings, I said … Turbo, I deeply appreciate this unprecedented gesture. It’s the first time a student has ever placed an apple on the corner of my desk, just like you see in the movies, but I have a feeling that after a few tests and essay projects and pop quizzes next year that you’ll end up hating me.
In his soft voice Turbo says … I won’t.
Oh, you will. I give lots of pop quizzes.
Turbo says again … I promise I won’t.
I looked at that huge apple and back up at Turbo. Even though I know a number of other teachers have been given contracts for next year, and I haven’t, I’m honestly wondering what the hell might be going on and I’m overwhelmingly confused by it, but I don’t want to disappoint a good boy. A bona fide good boy. I said to Turbo, with a fairly confident wink … I should be waiting for you.
Next Entry ... April 21: Lawful Thinking