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Epiphany from the other day

It is amazing to see how these students work. At the lake and with such few people, reps dropped. No one cared which gang they belonged to, what their tattoos meant, who is sucking off who, and the chips on shoulders started getting smaller and smaller. With worries pushed aside and placed in a safe environment, they can act like they were meant to... like kids.

My angry student. I have a brief glimpse into his formal life in Edmonton, and his grandmother here is always worried that he will turn out to be a gang banger like his brother. My student is smart, but lazy by choice and by pot. He is artistic, drawing AK47's and marijuana leaves. He walks around with his hands permanently curled up into fists. It took us all term to get him to talk occasionally, and to crack a smile.

That day, he was the first one to show up for the trip... 20 minutes early. This is the guy that shows up for afternoon classes at 2:30 when school lets out at 3:00... if he shows up at all. He was the "foreman" of his sandcastle building team, and he learned how to play volleyball that day.

Only one girl student showed up. She is a 15 year old girl that is part of a young gang and part of the sex trade involving underaged girls. She was all smiles and fished.

Then there is one guy from the other class that had such low self-worth, he never talked. He finally ended up in a foster home when the people actually give a crap about him. They make him accountable to where he is every night. He forgot to bring a towel, and this family had no problem going back home and dropping off a towel for him at the classroom before we left. He turns out to be very polite... but, not just polite, but an old-fashioned polite. He has difficulty going before girls in a doorway.

He turns to one of his teachers, after meeting the 15 year old girl, and says, "She is so pretty and nice. A girl like that would never go out with a guy like me."

One student had a meltdown and freaked out at the end of the day because he didn't want to go back to town. Maybe he didn't want to go back to who he has to be. I don't blame him.

Sometimes, these guys break my heart.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Jun. 14th, 2005 05:06 am (UTC)
Wow, it really shows you how important what we do really is, eh? I was so touched by what you wrote. I'm going to share it with my staff. I miss talking to you every day.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )