Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Sometimes They Still Surprise Me
I know most of my students pretty well. I work really hard at knowing them. I learn about boyfriends/girlfriends, out of school activities, jobs, sports, music, family, books. You name it, I really try to find out about it.
But, once in awhile, one of them surprises me.
Today was one of those surprises. It started with a phone call...
"Sorry to bother you in the middle of class. H has some questions about some poetry you are doing in creative writing. Can he come down or are you in the middle of a lecture?"
"Send him down. My students are recording today. I've got the time to visit with him."
Now, you should know that this is the same young man I wrote about last week. We're getting to the meat of his story, but it still has a ways to go.
He saunters in. I really expect to tell him that he doesn't have to write poetry. I just want him to try a draft of it.
"So," he begins, "last night, when I got home from work, I wrote this and I just wondered if this is what you want."
He hands me his phone.
"You wrote a poem after work last night?" H does not do homework.
"Yea. I write a lot of poetry."
"You do?????" I am incredulous. This was not what I expected. Not from H. And the poem--it's really good.
"Yea. Why do you think I took Creative Writing? I have lots of poems at home."
"Really? Will you let me read them?"
"I have to type them all up???"
"No. just bring them to me and let me read them. You can use some of them for this assignment."
"OK. Sure. I'll bring them in tomorrow."
We also had a conversation about sharing--I've figured out that he comes to me during his study hall because he doesn't want to conference during class when his friends are around. I promised I wouldn't share it. I promised I wouldn't let his friends know. But I let him know that I thought the poem was really good.
H comes to class next hour with a typed copy of the poem for me. But first, HE SHARES WITH HIS FRIENDS! They think he copied and pasted. They google it. They don't find it. They ARE impressed.
And now, it hangs on my Pride Wall.
I love surprises.