Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Anarchist, Emo, Loser?

Joe wants to be different. His MySpace site states his current beliefs; "Anarchy, EMO, Loser, Faggit, Call Me What You Want!" He changes his pictures on the site almost daily. Also, his "beliefs" change almost as frequently. He dedicates considerable time in my class attempting to discuss MySpace with a fair sprinkling of less than accurate information about Hitler, terrorists, politics, his championship BMX riding skills, the failures of public schools, etc., etc., etc.

Joe is of Middle Eastern descent, 5' 2" tall, approximately 200 pounds, generally dresses in black, and uses markers to write LOVE - HATE across the tops of his fingers. His makeup, when he can smuggle it past his mother in the mornings, is black eye shadow and black mascara. He strives to be Gothic without ever stating he is Gothic. It is fine if others call him Gothic because then he prides himself in others recognizing what he wants to be in life. Doing any school work is out of the question. Failing is a badge of honor proclaiming how others see him. I do not want to lose sight of Joe's intelligence masquerading as a Goth inside his behavior. I like him very much and he knows I do.

Joe rolled into my portable during fourth period today. Sitting himself next to me at the large white library table I utilize as seating. Sometimes, I feel like Grandpa Walton and then at times I feel like Al Capone holding court. Surrounding myself with the students assigned to me has eliminated many of the negative interpersonal behaviors that cause them to come to me. I shoved a folded note to my right for Joe.

"What's this," he asked?

"Looks like a piece of paper," I said.

"What's on it?"

"I wrote you a love note."

"Oh, sarcasm," he said opening the note.

I had written a small spelling lesson based upon what I had read on his MySpace page;


Joe you can't be an ANARCHY, but you can be an ANARCHIST.
If you're striving to be something else then you can't be a FAGGIT, but you can be a FAGGOT. However, regardless what people think you are, you remain Joe.

He had no comment about about the note. However, he did have something to say about his MySpace site.

"Have you looked at my MySpace?"

"Why would I waste my time?"

"All teachers are nosy."

"If you didn't want people to see your site then it wouldn't be there."

Some of the other students joked about what he had said about teachers being nosy. We both ignored them. Joe understood that I had taken time to read his writings and perhaps I did so because I am interested in his well being.

It's now been two days since the note exchange. I just checked Joe's MySpace site. The spellings and usage have been corrected. More importantly though the picture of him giving the world "The Finger" while wearing a mask has been replaced by a picture of him giving the world "The Finger" without a mask.

A very small victory for him in what I hope is a long life.

1 comment:

  1. I worked in the schools for a number of years and it's given me a lot of great stories. Your blog cracked me up. It's good to see that some teachers still care...and still can laugh about it all.