Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Angry Young "Man"

One day, in the first week of school, I asked "Ben" to do something. He replied, "My names not Ben."

Puzzled and annoyed (his name placard read Ben), I replied, "Then why does the sign that you made say Ben?"

He replied, "Well that's what the [regular ed] teacher's going to call me anyway, so I just put both names on it." He turned the sign over to reveal David.

Kind of a cocky thing for sixth grader to do; it puzzled me. Later, the teacher told me that she'd had David's dad [Ben] as a student, years ago, so maybe he was assuming that she'd call him by his dad's name. Odd.

For a sixth grade student, David is kind of surly. When a teacher gives a directive, he is often doing something else, or he takes an extra couple of minutes and another request to comply. He's obviously being passive-aggressive, for some reason. Why would such a young boy be so angry, I wondered.

I no longer have to wonder...

We are writing "Scarology" narratives. Students have been working for many days on their stories, in which they feature either a physical or emotional scar they bear.  David's story is about his dad being a soldier in Afghanistan.

With David's permission, I share the [draft] conclusion from his "Scar story."

In conclusion, it is challenging to be the man of the house when you don't expect to be man of the house and you are only 12 years old.  It is hard to try to do the jobs my dad is so good at when I wasn’t done learning from him yet.  Knowing where certain tools are or how to work the lawnmower makes me feel like a fish out of water. Comforting my mom when she looks upset because I know I have to be the strong one is harder than anything I have ever done before.No mater how hard it is for me to have my dad gone there is no comparison to the struggle my dad is going through.     

Of course, we always appreciate the sacrifices of our veterans, but (clearly) the sacrifices of their family members are just as great.

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