Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Our Homies

Every now and then, we inherit some home-schooled kids. That's not really a good explanation. Many of them are recidivists. That is, they used to go to school here, and their parents pulled them out to home-school them, then got tired of it and brought them back. There are few regulations in Missouri. Surprise, surprise. There is no home-school inspector, no exam to pass, no curriculum.

These kids run the gamut from well-informed and polite to unruly and years-behind grade level. The current crop is likeable enough, though they have a tendency to march to their own drummer.

A couple months ago, I was talking to a crony, ScienceFairPrincess, in the hall after school. One of the H-S boys came up and inserted himself into the conversation. He's a freshman, and in my class, not SFP's. She calls him Tweedle Dum or Tweedle Dee, as the mood strikes her, because there are two of them just alike. As we talked, he fixed his gaze on her necklace, a gold medallion of some type, about the size of a sand dollar. Or, I should say, he fixed his gaze in the vicinity of her medallion. "What kind of necklace is that?" he asked. "The kind you WEAR," said SFP. He continued to comment on it, until I said, "OK, we were talking. You need to move on." He went down the hall (not toward the parking lot) to talk to a different teacher.

SFP huffed. "I don't know why these home-school freaks always single me out! Hasn't he ever seen a necklace before?" She turned to glare at the back of his head. "You don't really think he was looking at the necklace, do you?" I asked. She said, "No. But I was hoping that was all it was." She hiked her shirt up a little higher at the neckline.

Today, I had another story for her. I caught her in the hall between classes. She makes a trip to the faculty bathroom every hour. Yesterday I barely saw her. I thought she had taken to wearing Depends. But that's beside the point. "Hey, guess what happened to me a little while ago. I was standing right here in the hall, watching for runners like a small-town cop with a quota, and I heard a commotion in my room. I went in, and there was Dee or Dum, I don't know which, carrying a desk up over his head, a desk that he had swapped for his. It was two rows away. He just thought that was perfectly permissible. I wanted to say, 'You home-school freaks may redecorate your living room in the middle of class whenever you feel like it...but here, you have to have permission to move the furniture!' And he acted like I was the one who was wrong. Got downright pouty when I told him THREE TIMES to move it back. He wanted to try his case right then and there, forget about having class, and obviously not clued in to the fact that I am judge, jury, and executioner."

SFP couldn't believe it. "I'm glad I don't have him." Heh, heh. Then she remembered that she will have him next year.

She'd better leave the jewelry at home.

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