Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Periodic Affirmation

Stopped a former student (from last semester) in the hall this afternoon to ask him where he got his awesome headphones. He said he had something for me, and reached in his bag to pull out a pair of burned CDs. Pinback. I said I'd heard of them, but never heard them. I thanked him for the music.

We had a conversation months ago about The Shins. The passing time soundtrack I had been laying down had roused him not at all. He'd not said a peep through Bessie Smith, Neil Young, Willie Nelson, Will Johnson, Meat Puppets, Mazzy Star, Sarah Vaughn, Miles Davis. He perked up at The Decemberists one day, and became mega-animated the next at "One by One All Day." He was always a quiet kid. Sharp, sometimes had some good comments, but, he dozed off a lot. However, he had a good nature (almost all of them do), and, he was a drummer, so we connected over that, too. But, I never really felt like our connection went beyond music (which was a strong enough connection, at any rate).

But, today, he made a few comments that made it clear to me that I had made an academic connection with him, also. He said I had covered texts "in depth," and it sounded like he was saying it as a compliment. I thanked him for that as he shuffled off to class.

I feel like a success any time I can connect to a kiddo. Over anything. But, when it becomes clear that I may have TAUGHT someone something--that's like hitting a grand slam in the World Series.


La Fashionista said...

Dude, which headphones did he have? I'm assuming not the "G.I." pair since presumably the faux bullets (nice touch) wouldn't go over so well in school.

I love that you have old man style, are down with (some of) the kids, and - best of all - you got some unexpected appreciation that is of the greatest value! I'm so happy for you.

So this morning I wasn't too surprised by my easy commute in. Wah wah gubment 2-hour delay due to rain and apparently some ice out in the way out parts. I *was* surprised to find primo parking options because we were closed until 11 as well! This area's extreme reactivity and ineptness with respect to weather "conditions" never ceases to amaze me.

So it's been a very needed quiet and productive morning for me.


Jami said...

If I had a dollar every time one of your former students lamented your departure I would be one wealthy public school teacher!

If you are not doing anything Friday, February 29th, maybe you would consider coming over and being a guest judge for the Annual World's Fair? We are also bringing the co-directors of "Very Young Girls" to HHS that afternoon, they are the recipients of The True Life Fund this year - should be inspirational, although I must admit that I am a bit nervous about inviting the school to see clips from a film about teen prostitution. Oh well, what are they going to do....fire me?

So????? Will you????

comoprozac said...

They might fire you...but the kids will love the expereince of talking with the filmmakers.

You know, ATR, you might not have ever been able to help that kid learn if you hadn't made a personal connection. There is a lot of value in the relationships we build with our students.

monkey said...

Yay! I love when ATR feels appreciation from the chirlen!!!

Ethan said...

Ah. Mr. Reda William and I were wondering if you were going to be in town for T/F weekend, and if so would you like to have lunch or something one of the days?

I've got a pair of those Lowriders, they're actually really good quality.

anyway, hope you'll consider the offer. Glad your new school experience seems to be going better than it was earlier (I haven't read in awhile it feels like.)

ATR said...


My dance card is a bit full that weekend, but, I must say that I am touched by William's and your offer. However, I will be at HHS on Friday, as a guest judge of the World's Fair--I hope to catch up with y'all there.

LA Fashionista--

I was a bit taken aback by the GI model, as well. I mean, is that really necessary? And, of course, my student friend has a different model. The TI, I think.