There are times, truly, where I learn way too much about my kids.
That may seem odd, seeing as I have many of these kids for just a few days at a time, but I almost feel like a bartender...I'm there, it's a quiet environment, it's a perfect place to spill your guts. A lot of times, it's a good thing. I can do some counseling, we can talk about why the kids keeps making bad choices, and talk about goals. Other times, I'd rather not know what they're telling me.
So this week I had a return visitor, except this was his first time this year. He'd rocked 8th grade after falling apart - he ended up in alternative school - in seventh grade. Grades were excellent, he was in advanced classes, he'd grown up. It was nice to see that Brainy Boy was doing well.
Except maybe he'd grown up a bit too much.
It was after lunch and I was going through some of the work that the kids were turning in. I check it to see if it's complete, spot check for accuracy, and either check it off and put it in the basket to return to the teachers, or give it back to be completed/redone.
One of my kids was not completing his work. He kept turning in assignments that were either incomplete with blank pages, or completely wrong. Everything he turned in had to go back to be redone. So he was stomping, and fussing, and basically having a whining fit and the other kids were getting annoyed.
"Oh get over yourself", said Brainy Boy. "You think your life is so tough."
"Oh but it isssss!" whined The Whiner "This stuff is soooo hard!"
"You don't know what stress is," says Brainy Boy. "Seventh grade work is not stressful."
"You don't understannnnndddd,' whines The Whiner. "It's haaaard."
At this point, Brainy Boy dropped his bomb. "Oh stop freaking whining. You don't know stress. You want to know what's stressful? You want to know the kind of stress I've been going through? I'm in 8th grade and I just got my girlfriend pregnant! Now that's stress!"
You could have heard a pin drop in that room. (I might add it was all boys that day which may have been why he felt comfortable enough to say what he said.)
Whiney Boy's jaw dropped for a moment, he sucked air, then it his mouth closed, he went back to his seat and we didn't hear a word from him the rest of the day.
Algebra Kid, Brainy Boy's best bud and partner in crime (they had done something in their Algebra class to end up with me), gave him a sympathetic look.
"Man, you really didn't need to tell everyone that," he said. "But you do have a point."
"Yeah, I know," said Brainy Boy. "But damn, his whining just pissed me off."
And with that, they went back to their graphing calculators and worked on their Algebra.