Here lies proof that I am not totally indifferent to my students’ sensitivities:
I was standing outside my room at the end of second lunch, hoping that glaring at the kids would get them into the classroom faster. One of my students, who normally spends the last few minutes before the class bell rings hanging out with his girlfriend, seemed bummed out as he gave her a hug and watched her walk toward the main building. Head down, he trudged toward my classroom. By the time he got to me, a tear had worked its way out of a duct and trickled down his cheek.
He asked, “Mr. V, can I be a few minutes late?”
I said, “You’re already here, why would you be late?”
He looked down as if looking for the correct answer. Then he pointed at his girlfriend, who was almost at the main building.
I guess I didn’t answer quickly enough, because he dropped his arm, said “Never mind,” and walked past me into my building.
I called his name. He turned around. I asked, “If she knew you said ‘never mind,’ what do you think she’d say?”
He blinked. He ran after her.
He was a few minutes late to class, but I didn’t notice.
How will it end? Will it turn out that this was the moment that sealed their love? Or was it a bitter exchange that finally drove a stake in the heart of their romance? Ten years from now, will they name their firstborn son Vincent Dominic Whatever? Or will the boy, having said that one last wrong thing to his girl, blame me for giving him the opportunity to do so, and so seek vengeance on me?
We will see, I suppose.