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Making Things Up

February 9, 2012

I called the mother of one of my students today to see when he was coming back to school. Attendance phone calls are common in my school. This student had a fight last Wednesday. He was mad another student shushed him during an assembly, so he challenged him to a fist fight in the auditorium, and then again on the way to the bus. The instigator isn’t normally a fighter at school, but he carries a gun and does drugs (and told me he doesn’t know how to stop), he lost his father not long ago, and when we had a parent meeting he cried the entire time.

Turns out, during the minor scuffle, he broke his hand.

“Oh no,” I say. “I had no idea. From the fight?”

“Oh yes, doctor says he can’t come back ’till the 12th.”

“Wow. Ok, well he missed a bunch of benchmarks this week. But we can catch him up. Which hand did he break?” I hear some shuffling and a muffled conversation.

“His left.”

“Hmm. Is he right or left handed?” I inquire, thinking ahead that if his writing hand is injured, I’ll need to make arrangements for him in writing class to be able to work.

“I don’t know. I’m not sure.” More muffled voices. “I’m not sure.”

I’m certain my brain didn’t explode at this point in the conversation, but I’m sure I saw the white light of disbelief as I was screaming– albeit silently inside my mind– HOW DO YOU NOT KNOW?????

“Ok, well thanks for letting me know, and tell him to feel better, and we’ll see him on Monday.” I hung up quickly. People in New Orleans never say goodbye, I’m sure she didn’t. I stared with a furrowed brow at the back wall of my classroom for for a few seconds, trying (not hard enough) to withhold judgement. I do not stand in her shoes. I shake my head, wishing I could record every single moment of every single day because if someone told me these stories, I’d swear they were making them up.

One Comment leave one →
  1. February 10, 2012 12:01 am

    Sunny Dawn! Oh!

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