My new little student is an interesting case. Today was his 4th day of school, and according to his records, 4 days might be the longest consecutive time he has been in school in at least two years. Over the past few days, he's done a little testing of limits, typical 6th grade stuff, but we've steered him toward some very positive role models and he seems to be catching on. He has taken to just sort of...standing next to me, for no reason. Or it will be towards the end of class, and he'll come up to my desk and just...touch things. My cowbell, the spikes of the cactus (a gift that I hope he doesn't get too attached to, because like anything living I touch, its days are totally numbered.) He looks at my photos of my girls, and asks for Altoids, which I totally give him, even though I'm probably not supposed to. He reminds me of a kitten I'm trying to coax out from under a shed, tentative and still suspicious, but eager for the light.
Today he came to school with what was obviously a migraine, and because he's not yet 12, the people at the group home were not "allowed" to give him tylenol, even though he is obviously suffering, and it's not like he has a parent they can call to ask permission. So they sent him to us. Like that. I sent him to the nurse, who called everyone and sundry to get permission to give him medicine, and then he came back to me, where I just let him sit and read (He says he doesn't like to read, but I gave him two graphic novels, which he has devoured in the past two days.) He didn't want to sit with his group, so he sat at the desk attached to mine, which is considered Andrea's desk. There he sat, while the other kids did their work, reading his graphic novel, listening to the new agey Celtic Flute music I had on to muffle the hum of literature circles...and he fell completely asleep. Right there in the middle of the room. No one noticed, and his face was to the wall, and the kids were all working quietly...so I just let him sleep. For, like, an hour. And I don't even care. I do not care if this kid can tell the difference between a metaphor and a simile. I don't care if he ever learns all the Greek gods of Mt. Olympus, or how to properly construct a topic sentence. I just want him to know that somewhere he goes, there are gentle people who will meet his basic needs as much as we possibly can.
I feel a strong sense of purpose toward this child. And I'm not quite sure why, but I do know that when that happens, when my gut tells me to pay attention to someone, I have to follow through. I'll keep you posted.
In other news, production week starts with Super Sunday on Sunday...and I am not in charge. Just the knowledge of that fact alone is tickling my fancy today.
Thinking of the people of Japan today, and Hawaii and California. And, incidentally, all of the news of earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, fires and tornadoes lately does nothing to asuage my secret insane fear about the world ending in 2012. Just me?