After the dismissal bell yesterday, a couple of kids were floating around my desk--a guy that wanted to talk about some poems he had written and a girl that often stops by to just chat. I call her Hug Girl because, at the start of the year, she insisted on giving and getting hugs to and from just about everyone. She'd chase the boys in her class just to get a hug. She'd corner teachers and demand a hug before heading for home. She's sensitive and sweet, and she wears her heart on her sleeve. Plus, based on what I saw at report card pick-up, she doesn't get much loving support at home. Still, I finally convinced her that all these hugs were somewhat inappropriate, so we've compromised and now high-five each other at the end of most school days.
Anyway, yesterday I had a 3:30 appointment with the dentist, so I hustled the kids out of my room. "I'll read your poems and talk to you about them tomorrow," I told the poet. "Email me and tell me what's on your mind," I told Hug Girl.
The trip to the dentist turned into a three-and-a-half hour marathon and required loads of anesthetic and then Vicodin. When I got home, there was the near no-hitter by the White Sox to watch, then some blogging and whatnot, and I didn't check my email until after midnight. And there it was, Hug Girl's message, titled: "Talking blah."
I quickly fired off a response. It was the kind of message from a student that demanded an immediate response. I'm not sure if my words could help. Today in class, she said she appreciated what I wrote, but I wonder if there's more I could have said. I asked her if it would be OK for me to share her message on my blog. She said OK.
So, if you've got time, read the following. If you are so moved, leave a comment for Hug Girl. I'll share anything you write with her tomorrow ...
Okay, here's what I wanted to talk to you about:
For some reason half the girls in this class do not like me. I'm not saying everyone should like me and all that la la la, but I feel as if they always think of me as someone bad and worthless off the street.
What did I do? Did I do something wrong? Did I offend someone and not even know it?
These are the very few questions that I ask myself when ever I'm near those girls. I know they don't like me. At all. I can feel it. The only thing that I am doing is being myself. Yes, I admit that I am not perfect and that I am not always nice to others when the mood hits me. But at least I'm honest about who I am and what I do.
I usually don't care what others think about me, but this is the kind of tension I have been feeling for as long as I can remember. I don't feel comfortable with this and every time I say something or do something weird, they would act as if I didn't exist.
This is something I do not understand. They would almost do the exact same thing and laugh as if it was the funniest thing in the world. The bad thing is, they don't even realize it. [A classmate] told me it was probably because they were so used to each other, they don't even think twice about any body else.
Why? I mean, if I don't like someone, I make it known. If I do like someone, I show it as well. There is no need to hide anything. It's not necessary to just stand there and look away as if I'm some piece of trash.
The sad part, is that this kind of behavior has been going on around me since second grade, getting worse with each new year.
The only place that I know that I have friends that do not do this is my ballet school. I have known a lot of them for a very long time. When there is someone new in our class, we welcome them with open arms and adopt them like one of our own. If we have a problem with each other, we show it and tell one another. At least that way, there isn't that backstabbing tension in the room and among us.
I honestly don't know what to do. I sure as hell won't change for anyone but I just want to know why is this?
Thanks a lot for taking your time to read this.