Three notable things happened to me today.
No. 1: When I arrived at work today at the elementary school where I am an assistant in a second-grade classroom, I was welcomed by a letter. The kids have been working on “persuasive essays.” You can imagine why this term is in quotations. The letter was from a student who was writing to convince me I should buy donuts for the whole class. It went something like this:
Happy New yeas Ms. canina,
Ms. canina can you Baye as Donots ples. Cus if you git Donuts then you can have some to. If you git us Donats then we can git you Jus. If you git us Donuts then we will do wat ever you wont. Jist ples git us Donats. ples
She definitely has a point.
No. 2: After asking another student to help pick up the games he was playing during indoor recess, he huffed and puffed and said, “I hate you. Stupid bitch.”
“Um,” I said, “You still need to clean up these games.”
No. 3: After sitting down with yet another student to make up a math test, he let me know that he needed to go to the bathroom. I asked him several times if he could not wait. He can be quite an evader, as with many people and math tests. He assured me he really needed to go, so we walked down the hall and I waited at the door to the boy’s room. Without listening that closely, I could soon tell he was finished when he blurted out innocently, “I told you Ms. Cannon! Did you hear me peeing? I told you!”
It was this particular student who, a couple weeks ago, gave me a puzzled look after I asked him an accidentally existential question. Context: because he speaks both Spanish and English, he has a slight accent. I had brought him out to the hallway because he was blurting out in the middle of class. He had a sort of desperate look on his face when he said in a high-pitched voice, “Okay, Ms. Cannon, I will try harder and I ask J-Seuss to help me follow directions.”
“What?” I asked.
“I ask J-Seuss to help me.”
“Who is that? Is that someone at home?”
At this point, his eyes gleamed with confusion. “I don’t know,” he said helplessly.
“Ohhhh!” I said, “Ohh, yes, I know what you’re saying now, he’s not someone at home…yeah, he’s…okay, yeah, you should ask him to help you…I guess…I mean, that’s fine.”