Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Shauna is one of my favorite (yeah, I admit, I have them) students this year. She's a fairly recent immigrant still struggling with some ESL issues, but since English is her third language at the tender age of twelve, I think she deserves a lot of credit for how far she's come already. She works very hard and has a sweet, sunny disposition that anyone would be hard-pressed not to adore. Easy to like, certainly, and I'm proud of the progress she's made so far.

Anyway, Shauna was sitting with Jack today. Jack, as I've mentioned before, is a sweet boy, but he's not so into the academic aspects of school. For different reasons, they're both in my extended day section together. We were doing some writing today, and Jack was just plum out of energy for the day. He doodled on his paper for a while, making a title out of fancy letters and drawing some cartoons in the margins, before staring off into space for a minute or two.

"Come on, Jack," I chided gently, "let's get to work."

He started bugging Lisa, a girl who, like Caroline, has no patience for poor Jack. Lisa gave him dagger eyes and he quickly stopped. But then he turned his attention to Shauna. Sweet, gentle, shy, kind Shauna. Surely, Jack must have thought, dear Shauna will let me mess around for minute or two. She's so nice. She never says anything mean to anybody. She'll talk to me and look at my drawings.

He started pestering Shauna. Her reply, in a seethe that I've never heard from darling Shauna, came quickly:


And with that, a chastened Jack finally got to work.