Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Pursuit of Happiness

Mindy's mom wanted a change, so she sent Mindy out of state in mid-September. She paid someone to take care of her, and enrolled her in a school there.

Then, the mom became unhappy again, and decided to bring Mindy back. When the mom called our school, Mindy's guidance counselor advised her not to bring the girl back till February. That way, she could accumulate a few credits. The mom declined to follow this advice.

Two weeks ago, Mindy was placed in my class. I had one empty seat in the front, and that became Mindy's. Mindy said she didn't like it. That is my only class that has seats in rows, and I don't like to sit kids in the back. Also, there was no one in that area with whom Mindy could speak her native language. I thought the seat was perfect, but Mindy sat the entire period and did no work whatsoever.

Then, I didn't see her for the next six days. Mindy's mom called with an ultimatum--I needed to change her seat if I wanted her to come back. Evidently Mindy was traumatized by the awful seat and had cut in protest. As I'd already given the seat to someone else, I said fine. But I pointed out that I'd given a test and Mindy's grade was zero, as was her average. Her chances of passing my class were less than optimal.

I went up to look at her records. It turned out that Mindy had tested into a lower level than mine, so I arranged to have her class changed, and perhaps give her a better chance of passing.

The next day Mindy's mom called the counselor, claiming the class change had caused her daughter irreversible psychological damage.

She may never be the same. Cruel though I am (apparently), it's my guess Mindy has plans to be unhappy regardless of where she finds herself.
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