Over the years, it's been my pleasure to teach many students with emotional-behavioral disabilities. I've always liked the quirky ones. One such student called me a few years ago to ask for a job reference. Here's how the conversation went:
"Hi Mrs.4444! How are you?"
[insert pleasantries here]
"Say, Mrs.4444," he said in a cheerful voice, "I'm calling because I'm wondering if you might be willing to be a job reference for me!"
"Well, Max. I haven't seen you in seven years; surely you've changed a lot since 8th grade?"
"Yes, but you could just talk about how I was in your class."
"I could, Max, but as I recall, some of your behaviors were kind of scary. I remember that you were very smart but also liked to draw weapons, talk about weapons, and make scary facial expressions at kids to make them afraid of you. I don't think you'd want me to tell a potential employer that."
"Hm. I suppose not."
"Have you had a job before, Max? Could that employer be a reference for you?"
"Are you renting an apartment, Max? Do you have a landlord?"
"Why don't you ask your landlord to serve as a reference for you, Max; he or she knows what you're like today."
"Good idea. Thanks."
Maybe I should have told him to go apply to be a prison guard or something...