All right, I think, I'm ready. He's going to ask if he can get an extension on tonight's assignment. Or maybe he's wondering if I'll really give him supplies for class--everyone needs a binder, notebook, paper, and pens by tomorrow, but I've announced that I've got plenty to spare if anyone needs one. Or maybe he has a question about his program, his classes, my class policies, the grading scale, the ACT, something, anything I've talked about these first two days.
Of course it's none of the above, but before I get to it, I have a few questions myself, here on Day 2. Questions like: Will the new multimillion-dollar attendance software system work anytime soon? Why are 25 of the 31 students in my honors English III class female? What are we saying about the boys in this school? Should I call the homes of all the students that made it yesterday but are absent today? What about the kids who refused to work today? Should I call them, make a statement? Should I vote for the new contract? And, as one union guy asked, am I ready to strike?
I can't worry too much about these minor issues of life, though, because a student has a question:"Would it be OK for me to bring a gallon of milk to class?"
Milk? A gallon?? "Why would you want to do that?" I ask.
"I get thirsty."
"Yeah, but milk?" (I'm a soy milk drinker myself, so the idea of a gallon of cow's milk in my 90+ degree fifth period classroom sort of, kind of makes my stomach churn.)
"I drink a lot of milk," he says. Yeah, he's a pretty big kid, and I can't imagine anything less healthy.
"Why not water?" I ask. "Or juice? I mean, it's really hot in here. I mean, a gallon of milk?"
"Well, OK, how about half a gallon?"
I tell him I'll think about it.
Official school policy is that there are to be no food or drinks in the classroom, but when it's hot like this, what am I really supposed to say to a thirsty kid? And, well, if we have vending machines in the building, and the proceeds supposedly go to the school, shouldn't we actually encourage students to buy more and drink wherever they want? These are the questions I think about on Day 2. I have an answer for most of them. But milk?