Me, a Freak?

Over the years I have worked with a number of school custodians (janitors). During that time I have also been involved with extra-curricular activities that, invariably, have added to their workload: locker and shower rooms in need of cleaning, stages needing to be swept, supplies to be replenished. Here’s a shout-out to those who came to work with a what-more-can-I-do-to-help attitude. You were such a joy to work with.

Me, a Freak?

Here’s a conversation that took place in my office on January 10, 2000. I know that’s the date because I actually typed out the conversation and e-mailed it out to some colleagues. Thank you, Erica, for saving your e-mails.

“Your teacher tells me you told your class that I was a freak. Is that true?” The grade 5 student replied, “Yes it is. I said it because it IS true.”

“Really? What caused you to make this statement to your class?”

“I said it because it’s true.”

“Hmm.. Well, perhaps you are of the impression that freak is a happy word. Maybe I should be thanking you for what you believe to be a compliment.”

“I know what it means, and it isn’t nice.”

“Really? Well what did I do to you to make you feel this way?”

Folding his hands behind his head, “There are other things I could say but there isn’t enough time.”

I chuckled and said, “I’ve got lots of time.”

“Why are you laughing?”

“You don’t expect me to get mad do you? I’m not paid enough to get mad.”

“There are other things I could say but I don’t think swearing is allowed in this school.

“You’re right about that. I think it is time to call your home.”


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