Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Slice of Life

"Jason," I said sternly, "you need to sit down."
He sauntered toward his seat, head down and voice muffled.
"I don't want to sit there," he said, "Kaitlyn growls at me..."
The other kids laughed and giggled at this, his wittiest of remarks. Kaitlyn, a cheerful and brilliant young lady, looked at me with her hands raised in mock protest. I shrugged back at her, always apt to ignore some comments in the interest of denying clowns what they craved most - attention.

The lesson continued and we broke into groups for a quick practice with "Intriguing Leads." I walk over to Kaitlyn, who is gently crying. Her partner sits accross from her, studying their paper and trying in vain to get Kaitlyn to ignore what is bothering her.

"What's the matter?" I ask, and my mind races to the incident moments before. Her eyes are wet with tears. What have I done?

"Was it the comment about you growling?" I asked cautiously.

"I'm just having a bad day..." she began, "and that was just part of it."

Just part of it. If you're not part of the solution, I think...

It is my job to protect them, and I had just shrugged and moved on. I give her solace when the bell rings, allow her to be late for her next class while I try to make up for my ambviolence. It is no use: her day is ruined. Even the smallest things can hurt these kids. They pretend to be so strong, but they delicate. So delicate...

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