A Shrewdness of Apes

An Okie teacher banished to the Midwest. "Education is not the filling a bucket but the lighting of a fire."-- William Butler Yeats

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Return of Mr. Do-Over

I was staring out my classroom window for a few seconds after school when I heard the door open. In walked The Slasher, of whom I wrote in December.

I hadn't seen him around in a while, so I feared the worst. Yet here he was, massive tattooed biceps bare (does this kid even own a sleeve? Some things never change....), camo pants, spiky mohawk and all. We chatted for a while. Here's what he's been up to:

1) He was recently detained by the cops "just for walking through a neighborhood." He says that happens a lot-- and really, I'm not too sure I'd want to see him walking down my street.

2) He's not in school right now, but claims to be selling "magazine subscriptions" door-to-door. I ask you, would you buy a magazine from a person who looks like a meaner version of a cross between the body of Sergeant Slaughter and the druggy beady-eyed overbite of Gary Busey?

3) He is currently "hooking up" with a 34 year old married woman, whose husband wants to kill him. Y'know, I really am puritanical about that kind of thing, so all I could manage was, "Gee do you really think that's wise? Some people do get rather testy about their wives...." Eeewww. Really. I would not have believed this part, but after we talked, I saw him in a lock with a woman who looked like she'd been "rode hard and put up wet," as we used to say. He then got in the car with her.

He has no plans. He doesn't think further than tomorrow. He is functionally illiterate. Every time I try to encourage him to try some education, he shakes me off like Nuke Laloosh in Bull Durham. He's getting by on-- not charm, certainly, but some sort of strange animal magnetism, some kind of primitive vibe to which people on the fringe of society seem to resonate.

What are we supposed to do with kids-- can't use the word "students"-- like this?



At 2/17/06, 11:08 AM, Anonymous k said...

I was hoping to hear of Slasher again. Doesn't look like education is an option for him. There is always a GED down the road. You never know.

At least he feels some kind of connection to someone who values education. Maybe, someday, he'll remember that.

At 2/18/06, 12:58 PM, Blogger graycie said...

I don't think we can do anything for people like Slasher. Either they have to choose to do something, or we have to start supervising families so closely that we can take children from inappropriate homes very very early. (Did anyone else feel that horrible chill run down their backbones at that suggestion?) Thus, our dilemma.


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