Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Just write dammit!

Well, let's see. . .

Today at work I saw a kid I hadn't seen in over 3 years. He was part of a troubled group of kids at a public school that I had worked at several years ago. They were dissaffected white youth, too poor and too aware of their situation. These were the kinds of kids that felt the sting of words such as "the world is yours go out and take it." Anyway "Stan" recognized me immediatly and started telling me about how well he was doing. It took him hitting rock bottom about three times before realizing he had his whole life ahead of him. He's turned a new leaf he says. He's happy to report there's a brain in his head after all. He's going for a GED- too many burned bridges and bad experiences in school. He's not sorry to miss out on high school life- he's lived more teenage experiences to satisfy at least three teenagers. No, he's looking for a trade, he's looking to distance himself from his stupidity and anger. He remembers me though not like he remembers the other adults at the school. They made him feel like a fool, inadequate, and worthless, and he was more than happy to live up to their expectations. He remembers me taking the time to listen to his bullshit and then calling him on it, giving him space and taking control when he couldn't. Mostly though, he respected me for never coming down to his level, never treating him like a jerk.

Given "Stan's" track record, his future isn't as bright as it could be, and I expect his life to be filled with trouble. However, I have hope him.

1 comment:

Charmi said...

It feels good to see you writing here again! I love running into people I've known in the past. They never cease to amaze me. I've imagined grim things for them, and they're actually giving life a go.