This idea of weekly blog writing is really great and I blame not updating mine more on my friend Charlie. See we made a pact of writing once a week and he hasn't held up his end of the bargain so neither have I. Wow, my students' logic is rubbing off on me more than I thought. Yes, another school year has started and once again I have stretched myself in way too many places and at times have felt a bit thin to be quite honest. (if only that thinness was reflect in my pants size instead of just my spirit) I have so truly great kids this year. Of course I also have some lazy bums but I have decided to put my focus and energy on those who work hard, are nice, support each other and remind me why I choose to leave a promising legal career to be here. I have decided that every time I write and if Charley steps it up it will be every week I am going to focus on the positive and tell you something good/funny that is happening and leave the assholes where they should be; in the corners not taking my precious time.
There is this one young man that I am so impressed with. School is hard for him. He can hardly read anything let alone an 8th grade textbook or understand the politics section of the newspaper I require them to read each and every Tuesday. He cant' spell most words, barley knows his math facts. Really people I could go on and on here but guess what unless most of his peers he wants to learn and somehow someway and fir has been lit inside him. He knows he has a hard time so he comes to me twice a week to get help. As soon as the bell rings for school to end there he is at my door ready to learn. He stays until he gets it and is always patient and never gives up. He has such a desire to be successful and will do anything I ask in order to pass my class and learn those MUCH needed basic skills. I asked him what he does after school the other three days and he says he works with his mom at her cleaning business so they can make some extra money. What a truly remarkable young man.
To top it all off last year he got shot in the face. It was a freak drive-by wrong place wrong time knind of situation. He needs more surgeries to finish up the work and get him new teeth (the bullet blew through a bunch of them) but can't until they make enough money to pay for it. I am just constantly amazed by this young man. Where others in my class are giving up with much less adversity here he is working that much harder. When I asked him why he has choosen to work hard be said it's to make him mom proud. She never went to school because she had to work in the fields in Mexico as a child and he doesn't want to disappoint her and make her hard work not mean something. Now that is one awesomem kid. I just hope he learns to read, write, and do math because if he can get those skills he will be so successful. It makes me mad because all those cocky smart kids where things come so easy to them will get the scholarships to college, the good jobs, the big houses and here is this kid who has all those amazing skills you can never teach someone. Skills like hard work, patience, kindness, never giving up, respecting others.
So to all five of you who read this if you get a chance give the person who may not have the perfect resume, credentials, etc a chance because in the end they may be so much better because they want it that much more and will work that much harder to keep it.
And as to my student (even though he won't/can't read this) you will get those skills as long as you never give up and I will support you every step of the way to get you to your final goal.