"Mr. P, you're such a drama queen!"
"Me? What do you mean?"
"I mean, you're always gossiping. Always trying to create drama."
Of course I knew exactly what she was talking about, so I had to defend myself.
"Gossip is when you talk about someone behind her back. If I said something to you, it's not gossip. Maybe I was teasing you, but not gossiping about you."
"You ... are ... so mean! I'm not a bad person!"
"I never said you're a bad person. In fact, I don't think that. I think the German is a bad person."
You knew he'd eventually reappear, didn't you?
Recently, this one eleventh grader, who I refer to affectionately as the German, has been making his rounds through the twelfth grade girls. He's pretty smooth, fairly charming, and decent looking. He pursues these girls, and as soon as he has them, he drops them and moves on to the next victim. "I have this problem," he once told me. "As soon as a girl likes me, I'm not interested anymore."
So ... last weekend was the Junior-Senior Ball, and the German went with one of the prettiest girls. This week, I've seen him chatting up this other girl, a girl I'll name Sam.
So ... earlier in the day, I saw Sam not talking to this other guy in her class. When I asked her about it, she said that the two of them were trying to see how long they could go without speaking to each other.
"Oh really? Interesting," I said, and as she walked away, I called after her, "What about the German? Is it OK for you to talk to him?" She ran off blushing. Then later at the flagpole area, she accused me of gossiping.
"If it wasn't true," I said, "then it wouldn't bother you."
"But why me?" Sam asked. "Why don't you tease him about it?"
"Oh, I have. I've told him that, one day, all the girls at this school would get smart and not give him the time of day," I told her. "And do you know how he responded? He said, 'No, that will never happen!' So, like I said, I don't think you're a bad person."
"He said that? Well, someone is going to say no to him."
I hurried off before Sam could declare war on me or all of Germany, and I wondered if it was my place to protect the girls against the players at this place, and I decided that, yes, someone has to do it.