Wednesday, February 04, 2015

The Evolution of the Story

Yesterday, I was sitting in a department office very early in the morning. The principal walked by and commented there was no teacher in the room next door, so I volunteered to cover the class.

There was something hanging on the classroom wall about rights and responsibilities of students, and I pulled it and started discussing it with the class. For some reason, a student mentioned that it was vitally important to tell police officers who bothered you to shove it. I questioned the wisdom of speaking to a police officer like that. I further questioned the wisdom of speaking to anyone carrying a gun like that.

Then the student told me he had been given a summons in a fast food joint for “trespassing.” He used air quotes to display this. I asked why it was in quotes, and he said the only reason he got the summons was because the other students where he was weren’t old enough. Then he let slip the name of the fast food place, which happens to be a notorious cutting locale for our students.

Then I thought to ask the kid when this happened. He said it was during his lunch period. So I asked him whether or not he thought it was a good idea to be hanging out at a place the cops regularly swept for truants on a school day. He argued that, since it was his lunch period, he wasn’t technically cutting. Then he offered harsh words for the restaurant manager, who he claimed decided to call the cops for no reason.

I said that would be like me calling the dean for no reason and throwing five random students out. You, you, you, you and you. Why would I do that? I told him that I hang out in the office, and occasionally kids get sent there by teachers. They invariably tell me that they got sent out for no reason, but usually there’s another side to the story.

The student then said that he wasn’t the one acting up. I said that meant someone was, in fact, acting up, and that the manager did not call for no reason. The manager called because someone was acting up.

The student then complained that he had to be out of the country on the court date, and that it was really inconvenient to write letters responding to the summons. I asked what happened and he said it got dismissed. I told him since nothing actually happened he had little to complain about.

“You should be a lawyer,” one of the kids said to me.

I don’t think I’d like being a lawyer, though. I doubt it’s really the way it’s portrayed on those TV shows, and I suspect they actually have to read all those thick, tedious-looking books they have on those ancient oak shelves. They never seem to be doing that on The Good Wife. But if it were like TV, maybe I’d give it a shot.
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