The Cardinal

Every day I have a student whose hair sticks straight out in the back. Like a spoiler on all those ghetto-y road racing cars.

Straight out, like it's pointing at someone. What way to the bathroom? That way! What direction to the buses? That way! Follow his hair!

I think it's adorable, but he gets so upset. Maybe because it's so much hair. It's not some wisps, it's a significant chunk.

Sometimes I try to comb/pat it down for him. I even use water, but it doesn't work.

The other day he comes up to me:

Student: Miss?
Me: Yes?
Student: I tried today to comb it down, but it just didn't work. Pats his head furiously. This is the end of the day, by the way, so it escapes him that his hair has been this way all day. 
Me: Oh, I like it. I think it adds character. It makes you special. We can all recognize you from the back, and that's important.
Student: Do you know what my brother calls me? I should mention that I had his brother several years ago, so I can picture this clearly in my head.
Me: What?
Student: Cardinal.
Me: Snorted. I totally could not even control it. And the smile/smirk wouldn't leave, either. Awe, man. Sometimes big brothers aren't very nice. But you know, cardinals are really cool birds. And you kind of have the signature feather tuft going on back there...
Student: Sighs. Yeah, I know...He walks away absentmindedly, patting his head as he walks. His hair bobbing along behind him.

I am honestly going to miss this group of students. Not all of them, but most of them. The Cardinal yesterday wrote on his "star of the week" paper (that is not for a grade, so he wasn't sucking up) that I was his hero. Most kids pick their parents. A couple of them pick Jesus. I was so flattered to be up there with such good company. I got a bit misty-eyed, but managed to make it through.

Last night however, I had a dramatic episode (that's the nice way of saying that I had a small breakdown) and was wailing so loudly and so high-pitched that the neighbor's hound dog started baying with me. And the the other neighborhood dogs heard him and they joined in, too.

Just me and the dogs, yo.


DeAnne said...

I am glad the Cardnial recognized how amazing you are. Sorry to hear it was followed by a breakdown. :(

Emily said...

Thanks! Trying to focus on the positives.