Now, if I have favorites among my students -- and oh my gosh, how unprofessional is that of a teacher, to have favorite students -- well, the "scene" girl who is often mistaken for "goth," with dark bangs hanging down into her eyes, who exhibts a wickedly cynical sense of humor, who is a talented writer who gives no quarter when expressing her opinions, who shows off with a mixture of pride and annoyance the bruises she received in the mosh pit at last weekend's concert, and who holds in contempt those trend followers who carefully wipe down their neon-colored Chuck Taylors with a damp cloth to keep them clean while she proudly wears her falling-to-pieces three-year-old plain black pair, would definitely be a top contender. When she speaks, her low, measured tone reminds me of, well, I suspect you can guess.
Anyway, we're sitting there watching the spelling bee in silence. Finally Jaylynn speaks.
"So apparently they're all home-schooled, their parents are their best friends, and they like birds."
"Has there ever been a Filipino in this contest?"
"There's one contest they'd all lose: the "I actually have real friends' contest."
More silence. Finally, after observing several of the boys successes:
"Some of the guys are pretty good. But what's the point? It's always going to be a white girl who wears glasses who wins."
"So why aren't you there," I asked.
"I don't wear glasses," says Jaylynn.
"But you're supposed to."
Jaylynn was one of two of my students who actually watched the entire ABC coverage last night. Then she sat there with me and watched it again. Jaylynn rocks. I shall miss her.
I need to develop a much thicker veneer if I'm gonna keep going with this teaching thing.