Meanwhile, back at the ranch…
Our second installment of this year’s MYANOS Awards.
The Craigslist, Shmaigslist Award:
After seeing me arrive at his school once in my ten-year-old Ford Taurus, there is a kid who (on multiple occasions) has offered to ‘find’ me a new car – whatever make and model I want, at whatever price I want to pay. Asked to define ‘find’ the kid says, ‘You know, mr. Lucker…I can ‘get’ you a new car”.
“I keep thinking ‘maybe it’s some sort of automotive ponzi scheme’”.
Favorite Recurring Marx Brotheresque Converstion With a Student (minimum two-dozen times):
“Mr. Lucker – you trippin’”!
“Naaaa, you trippin’, thinking that I’m trippin’”!
“No, man! You trippin’ if you think I’m trippin’ ‘bout you trippin’”!
“Uh-uh, man. You’re the one that’s trippin’”
“Man! Mr. Lucker – you really be TRIPPIN’”!!!
“To hear students tell it, I am always ‘trippin’. And yet, I have never fallen”.
The Dewey or Don’t We Decimal System Award:
Keep in mind that books were among the major casualties of Katrina, even on floors that didn’t get flooded; mold and mildew quickly wiped out millions of volumes; donations of books have poured in from around the country since then and have helped re-stock school libraries. One day, with a class in a nice, new, modular library I glanced at the bookshelf to see two sets of encyclopedias. One row was a nicely aged set of Compton’s Encyclopedia. . . 1957 edition. One shelf below I could delve into the far more contemporary edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica. . .from 1969.
“Worst case scenario, they’re missing seven presidential administrations and…ahh hell, its all a worst-case scenario”.
The “I’m baaaaaaaaack” Award:
Tuesday, the week of mandatory state testing, I was asked to assist at a favorite charter HS. Upon request of a teacher, I removed a kid from, sending him to In School Suspension (ISS). He split from there, was corralled and sent back to ISS. He left again, exiting campus. Mom was called. He returned, was sent back to ISS, left campus again. Was spotted by staff, returned to school, put in handcuffs until mom showed up. End of my participation in story.
Fast-forward to Thursday of that week, and I am subbing at a different HS. I walk to the office. There, being enrolled, is student and mom from previous school. He looks at me, wide-eyed, I say ‘hi’ and leave. Throughout the next two days, I see him repeatedly in the halls, he looks nervous (and lost), I always smile and say ‘Hi’ or ‘How’s it goin’”? When in class, the kid starts acting up, but a quick comment from me snuffs it out. He has no built-in audience here yet, and I have his number.
Fast-forward again – one week; I’m back at the second school in this story, different class, playing a movie. About half-an hour into class, someone is knocking at the door. I open door. Much to his surprise, it’s me – again. Kid’s face goes flush, he hands me his pass, goes to sit down, glancing over his shoulder at me.
Next day, same class, kid shows up on time, goes to his seat, eyeing me warily all the way. He sits down, says not one word the entire 55 minutes. I am fairly certain he has not been this quiet this long since approximately the second grade.
“I’m kind of like Clarence the angel…only he aint no George Bailey”.
Most Disturbing Oft-Heard Question Asked of One Student by Another Award: “You got a daddy, or a sperm donor”?
“Trust me – its only alarming the fist fifty or sixty times you hear one kid say this to another”.
And so it goes in the high schools of New Orleans.