Saturday, May 09, 2009

Don't forget to tip your waitresses

I've talked about P. on here several times. He's the one who has an incredibly low IQ but, in many ways, is actually very, very smart--especially when it comes to finding ways to adapt and "survive" in the classroom. Every year he falls a little more and more behind, and I know that 5th grade has been especially tough for him. Particually in math, we have been doing things that the IQ tests say he will never be able to learn, due to his short-term memory, processing, and problem-solving scores (among others). I, of course, push him to do as much of the problems as he can, and to do the same assignments as the rest of the class (with some modifications) but that actually frustrates him quite a bit too--he's "smart" enough to realize that there's something different about him, compared to the other kids in the class. One day, he become visibly angry and emotional and accused me of "asking him to do stuff that he just can't do!" There was something about the way he said it that left me in tears after the kids left for the day. Where is the line between pushing him to accomplish as much as he can and perhaps setting him up for failure?

ANYWAY. None of that is the point of this post, at least not directly. I wanted to provide you with some backstory, because it makes you (well, it makes ME, anyway), appreciate certain moments with him that much more. And yesterday, he showed me that although his academic/intellectual IQ may be just a few points above mentally impaired, he can still be incrediblly funny and quick-witted.

I was sitting at my desk and I twisted off the cap to my diet Coke. I had dropped this bottle earlier in the morning but more than an hour had passed--I figured that I had waited long enough to open it. Well, I was wrong--the most incredible geyser of soda that I have ever seen erupted out of the bottle. (And no, before you say it, this wasn't the work of one of my students--they were benchmark testing all morning, and the bottle was on my desk the whole time.) It was such an incredible sight that, once soda stopped exploding everwhere, the kids sat in absolute silence, stunned--and so did I. It was ALL OVER my desk, jeans and even my face. My shirt was literally drenched.

And that's when P. said in a stage-whisper, with absolutely perfect delivery:

"Hey, Miss K. I think you got a little somethin' on your shirt."


PS--Since he's a big kid, he also has this huge, booming voice. Well, it was in that very voice that he asked me at recess, "Hey, Miss K, what's gonnorhea?" Of course, about 5 other kids heard him and were all like, "Gonnorhea, what's that?" My face was SO red. I told them that it was just an infection, and you needed medicine for it, but that it was something you didn't really talk about at school. I asked him where he'd even heard the word and he said from some middle schoolers on the bus. The other teachers, meanwhile, were leaning up against each other behind the slide, laughing their asses off, while they left me to deal with THAT little situation.

1 comment:

Renee said...

Hahahahahaha! Just one more thing to make me *heart* P! What a sweet, funny kid :-)

Btw, I'd have been in tears over that fine line, too :-(