April 04, 2007
comics: the teenage soother


It was a bit eerie how everything came together, really. The student is the high-maintenance sort, and earlier in the year I offered him a graphic novel to pacify one of his loud fits of complaint. The collection: Spookshow, by Dav. He decided to do his project on it. So far, so good.

Two weeks ago it was time to decide on presentation dates. I asked the students to draw numbers out of a felted flower pot; he refused. I made the offer more than once and then snapped; told him that if he refused to pick, his date would be picked for him. He ended up with the first date, which he later negotiated to 2 days later (today).

All week he's been impossible to manage. He spends the whole period working on his drawn collage of images, pausing once in awhile to sneak headphones into his ears and disparage my teaching/the lesson/fellow students. When he found out that today was a half-day, he flew into a rage and declared his intention to stay home because, "no one comes on a half-day." I told him point-blank that if he skipped the period he would receive a zero on his presentation. He muttered something about "ice water" and continued to complain all week long.

He showed up on time today (more or less), his completed collage and written work in hand. He went last (of course) and had his friend hold the collage.

Stop and picture this: two black boys, the one with corn rows prone to fits of sulking and wild demands, the one with a pick stuck into his hair prone to lapsing into a thick Jamaican patois. The first speaks confidently about Spookshow while the other holds up the display, shuffling patiently from time to time. It was not the most detailed commentary in the universe and many of Dav's more subtle points were lost. But it was thorough, it was thoughtful and the collage was hand-drawn. Plus, he wore a shirt that said: "Watch out for the Alphabet Boys" over silhouettes labeled FBI, CIA, DEA, etc. It blew my f*cking mind.

I got sick this weekend, but I'm feeling better. I'm trying to muster the courage to kill my Facebook site, as Alexi found me within 48 hours. Mason & I have a Facebook suicide pact, but we have yet to firm up the time. I'll let you know.

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