Have you ever wondered? Of course you have. Perhaps you wonder how the deer know to only cross at those yellow signs on the road. Perhaps you wonder why black olives are packaged in cans and green olives are packaged in jars. Or, perhaps you wonder how everyone seemed to know Lassie was barking because Timmy was in trouble.
I enjoy wondering. My love for reading has allowed me to wonder what it would have been like in a different time and place. My desire to visit new places all of the time has encouraged me to wonder what it would be like to live in that location. And, I wonder why people act the way they do.
People’s actions are like character’s actions in a story. When I teach literature, I focus on why characters behave the way they do. Sometimes we can explain it; sometimes we cannot. For example, it is difficult to explain why the jury found Tom Robinson guilty in To Kill A Mockingbird.
However, it is easy to explain why Heck Tate said “Bob Ewell fell on his knife” at the end.
Recently I have been presented with some strange behavior by students that have made me wonder. Perhaps one of you can explain these teenager’s logic.
1. I went into the boys rest room to wash my hands and noticed someone sitting on the floor in the stall. Fearing he was regurgitating his math lesson or the school lunch, I asked him if he was ok. He came out of the stall and tried to lie. He finally confessed to be cutting his class, which was in the media center. Since when did a boys bathroom floor, where aiming to hit the toilet is not a priority, become a “cooler” place to be than the library? In 23 years I have never seen this way to cut a class.
2. I was walking down the hallway to the lunch room. I never get school food, for I am trying to live a long life. However, today I did not pack my lunch. I stopped a young man who was breaking our dress code and asked him, “what class are you in right now?” He responded, “I’m going to get some food at the grab and go line.” I said that I wondered when the grab and go food line became a class. So, I asked him again and we proceeded to his class. He did not pass go, collect $200 or buy any snacks. I wonder why someone tries so hard to attract attention to himself then complains about getting in trouble. When you scream, people tend to notice.
Tomorrow we have outlines due. I wonder what creative excuses I will encounter. I am certain that I will get five students saying “I didn’t understand the assignment” even though we spent two class periods working on it. I will probably hear three students tell me “I forgot it at home or in the car.” Of course, one or two students will tell me that they were typing it and left it on the printer. I do wonder if I will get “my brother got mad at me and lit it on fire, again.”