Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Day #25

6 weeks in!

Ahmad is a nut, plain and simple. He can't sit still, he can't keep his hands off things, he looks at you quizzically when you give him a command the first time, and ignores it. The second time you tell him something he inevitably calls you a bitch. The third time he walks out your room and leaves school. He has no social skills. He thinks it's appropriate to run up and shank someone with a paperclip or a nail file in order to make friends. He doesn't understand why some kids find this troublesome behavior. And ten minutes after driving you crazy he wants a hug, or he wants you to drive him home. I drove him home a few times, hoping to get through to him. He immediately switched my car stereo to 92Q and cranked it each time, before putting his head out the window like a puppy.

Because he's so unmanageable, and because his antics routinely blow up the entire 7th grade boys class, Mr. D the school counselor did a home visit. "It's the worst situation I've ever seen," D said. There's no door on his apartment, which is in a housing project off Lexington Ave. When D. entered there were a couple dozen hop-heads lounging on the floor, some in the act of shooting up. Nobody knew Ashad, and nobody could explain where his parents were. Ashad lives there, but his mom is missing. Let's just say she left him in the care of a bunch of George A. Romero film extras.

Like many kids in urban schools, Ashad acts the way he does for a reason. He doesn't have anyone who gives a fuck about him except his teachers. He acts the way he sees junkies act, meaning what he wants is paramount, and he will get what he wants by any means necessary. There are no boundaries for this kid. And yet he manages to be sweet and charming at times, and you can see the diamond in that thick and brambled rough. Maybe it's not to0 late to harvest that sumbitch.

The next two days are professional development days. Thank God I go to a school which does its own in-house PDs. I couldn't bear the City-wide bullshit again! Next week I'm off to North Bay for a week with the 6th and 7th grade. I'll be doing the zip line, the rock wall, the boating, the hands-on science lessons, and sleeping in a cabin with my 7th grade Crew. I can't wait.

1 comment:

Shelley said...

My writing is set in the last time the economy crashed, and one of my main concerns in the present is that the people being hurt now by the lack of public money are the most vulnerable--like the young man you describe. I couldn't stand him in my classroom, so I'm glad you have more patience.

If we don't intervene and help young people like this, we can see what the result will be in all the years to come.