Tuesday, March 7, 2006

Just When You Least Expect It, A Student Can Change Stripes, Spots, Whatever, and Become the Student You Never Thought Would Arrive

I must confess that C has always been the worst of lunkheads, a dumb, slow, lazy, and good-natured kid who had no ambition beyond getting blitzed and watching the tube while his parents paid good money for an education he didn't give a shit about.

For whatever reason, after taking the world's most lenient D, he signed up for another class with me this term. I saw his big, greasy face coming at me and I just about said, "What the hell is wrong with you?"

But he's an amiable guy, a friendly guy, a guy I can talk to about sports and music, and so what can you do?

We're now halfway through the semester and I'm holding a test of his in my hands that is about as good a test as I've seen this semester. I watched him take the test in class last week. I recognize his own peculiar language (dude, etc.) and the ideas are good. He's been listening. I don't know how or why, but whatever it is we're doing in class is starting to get to him, and for even more inexplicable reasons, he's actually taking some care to show me he's getting it.

I have - for this brief moment - hope for C and his future. Sure, he's a junior, sure he's probably blown off more classes than most kids actually go to, but today at least he succeeded in this one test, in this one class.

I give him all the credit in the world. When I was his age I was a lunkhead, too, and somewhere along the line I got my shit together. I think I'm watching C make his own little turn on the long road.