Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Social Skills

It's been quiet lately. I think for the most part I've become desensitized to Samil's idiosyncrasies. We've also been not around at the same times a lot, so its a smaller sample size per day of things that would be mentionable here. That said...

This morning I didn't see Samil until right before I was out the door. The following exchange took place:

Me: "Hey, are you going to be home tonight?"
Samil: "Um, yeah, I'm going to my aunt's for Thanksgiving."
Me: "All right, I'll see you late when I get in... 10ish"
Samil: "No."
Me: "Huh?"
Samil: "I'll be at my aunt's."
Me: "Right."
Samil: "I'm heading there tonight."
Me: "Oh, okay. Well, have a good Thanksgiving."
Samil: "Okay. Yeah, you too."
I open up the door to leave and take one step out...
Samil: "Oh! By the way."
I stop and look wondering what on earth could have just crossed his mind.
Samil: "Oh, um. I. Oh, yeah. I just got this hemp protein and I had it today in my smoothie. As soon as it hit my stomach I could feel it working on my digestion."
Me: "That's...good"
Samil: "Yeah." (Self congratulatory look) "I'm really happy with this stuff. It's AWESOME."
Me: "Um. Bye, Samil."
Samil: "Bye!"

This evening, I was on gmail at my laptop at Starbucks. I sign on and a few minutes later, Samil starts up a gchat. "Yo dude." So I respond. No joke... 20 minutes later he gets back to me. "I meant to talk to someone else." Oh, okay.

Last weekend he went to an English Teacher's Conference and told me that he thought most of the early seminars he went to were really dull, useless, and a waste of time, and he wished he noticed that people were walking out of them freely. Because I dunno, a guy who has been teaching for a year and freely admits he has no idea what he's doing should be bored by the ideas presented at the nation's top conference on teaching English. Those people clearly didn't know what they were talking about. That said, he found it really important to tell me, as he was walking out of my room, that he met this really cool guy who wanted to change the name of English class to something else. "oh?" He wants to call it Personal Studies. Now THAT'S valuable for his professional development.

There's something really unique about Samil that makes me just have no response so often. I don't know how he's developed this ability to just throw out topics that are totally absolutely uninteresting to me, not even a little bit. It has to be a combination not just what he talks about, but how he presents it. You have to wonder how some people function in this world when they spend so much time having awkward relations with the people around them. I hope that my students become much better socially adjusted, which I'm not really concerned about at all, since nearly all of them can make it through a conversation with me without me raising either of my eye brows or forcing me to pick my jaw off the floor. And this is in middle school, which well, as you should all know, is an awkwardness cesspool.

When he had his report card night last week, he told me about one mother who found out her daughter was doing very poorly in Samil's class. The mother had, what I think was a look of anger on his face, but when Samil demonstrated it, it just looked sorta blank. Samil ended the telling of this story by saying "I don't know if I should have been happy that her daughter was in trouble or" he paused, I looked at him for a second, and then he started talking about tomato sauce.

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