Student Teacher # 2
A number of years ago a colleague had been assigned a student teacher. The intern was in a different department and a different wing of our high school; therefore, I didn’t see much of him during the day. After he settled in he started to come in early and sit in the staffroom, but he sat away from the rest of us and simply worked with his computer.
On this particular morning I prepared the coffee as usual and proceeded to my classroom. About forty-five minutes later I returned to the staffroom but my regular coffee-mates had yet to arrive; however, Cal was sitting at the end of the banquet table tinkering with his laptop.I poured myself a cup of coffee, sat in my usual spot and opened the paper.
“Good morning Cal. How are you today?”
Oh no, what was I getting into? I just wanted to scan the paper and enjoy my first cup of java. I didn’t actually want to know how he was, but I couldn’t ignore his response.
“Are you not feeling well?”
“No. Problems at home.”
“Is it really serious?”
“I just need to learn to respect my father more.”
“I take it you are still living at home? Is this a matter that could be easily resolved?”
“I just need to show more respect.”
Now this whole time I kept the paper open. (Translation – I really don’t want to talk).
“Do you have someone to talk to about this?” (Translation – Someone other than me).
He replied, “Jesus.”
Oh no. I was dropping deeper. I ruffled my newspaper. (Translation – I just want to read the news).
“Ah, Jesus, well that is a good person to talk to. I just find that it is sometimes helpful to be sitting across from a mortal; you know, someone with whom you can make eye contact and discuss back and forth – NOT that you can’t go back and forth with Jesus, it’s just when you have a problem I find, sometimes, it is nice to talk things out with a friend; you know, like a human friend.”
“It’s okay. I will get through this.”
I responded, “I hope things work themselves out. Hang in there.”
I continued, “Oh, by the way Cal, when I see you in the morning and say How are you today?, all I really want you to say is, Okay.”
“But today that would be lying.”
He had me there.
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