Monday, March 20, 2006

Time Tempers Educational Gusto!

Since my last posting many events have occurred with some assisting my students to mature and some leading to the hospital or handcuffs. The hospital event should have been the most traumatic?

Zorba the Geek is an unusually short, thin, and very loud teenage boy. His most pressing goal in life is to be just like his older brother. The brother that was released from jail in November after doing 11 months - 29 days for breaking and entering.

Zorba the Geek has not passed a class in two years. However, he does know everything about everything and freely tells anyone. His parents long ago washed their hands of educational accountability for this son. Additionally, teaching manners were never an important priority. He cannot help but interrupt any conversation he hears explaining how his knowledge of the subject is the best knowledge. It does not matter if his information is correct or not. Now on to an event that should have impacted his life. Life's jury is still out on how it impacted him.

Just before Christmas Break, that's right, I did not say Winter Break, Zorba the Geek decided another way to prove his street credentials was to ride along with a “known” drug user and seller to consummate a deal. The location of choice for these two “wanna-be” criminals was a house owned and operated by a local “group” of Asian youth.

As the story goes his companion suggested it would go much easier if Zorba stayed in the car while he finalize the deal. Of course, Zorba new much more than anyone that offered advice. While the deal was going down he took the opportunity to “talk his trash” to the lead Asian's girlfriend. Obviously this would not go unnoticed. Three of the “homeowners” decided to correct Zorba's manners with the use of a brick. Two of them held him down while the leader crushed his head with a brick.

The good thing about Zorba's companion was that he returned to find Zorba lying in his own blood and called for help. Zorba was taken to the local hospital which was not equipped to handle the severity of his injuries. He was life-flighted to a much larger university hospital and died during the flight. The paramedics were able to revive him and after admission he was placed in a chemically induced coma for the next month.

Zorba remained out of school for over three months. Upon his return I've observed him during class many times. Perhaps it is my cruelty, perhaps my thick skin, or perhaps I'm right. After sustaining what should have been a Traumatic Brain Injury I see no change in his behavior or academic skills. I like to think it is a credit to the hospital staff, but my cruel side believes the brick had little to work with and injure.

Since his return to high school he continues on as before. He attempts no assignments, skips class freely, smokes whenever he desires, knows everything about whatever anyone is speaking about, and draws out any anger from his peers that he can find.

As we approach a week of Spring Break, Zorba the Geek has an extra week out of school for smoking on school property. My sense is that this child has been left behind by his family,
peers , school, and himself.

More on other events having occurred during my period of not posting, later....................