#154: A Dialogue?


This class sucks. It’s boring.
All we do in here is read and write and talk.
And I have no idea why I’m failing.
I can’t find my pencil.
Could I borrow a piece of paper?
When can we watch a movie?
Oh my god, I just got a text
and I have to answer it right now.
What was the question?
This class sucks. It’s boring
and I have no idea why I’m failing.
Oh my god, high score
on Doodle Jump.
You’re so mean, why are you
always on me for something,
always up in my grill?
Oh my god, I just got a text
and it’s my mother, oh my god.
You can’t take away my phone;
it’s my mother. I just spilled
my drink all over the floor.
That wasn’t my fault.
What was the homework?
Was there homework?
Nobody told me about the homework.
What did you say?
I am so sleepy. I need to sleep.
Reading is so stupid and I’m hungry.
Where are we?
This is boring.

I try so hard not to hate you
and for the most part I am successful.
Instead, I hate what prevents you from
having the slightest inclination
about why you need this or me.
Maybe you’re just not ready and
it’s possible that, before it’s too late,
there will be a time
in your life when you arrive at
something like understanding
about the importance of sharpening
your mind and your skills and
learning to be more effective in
the world. But I’m telling you,
right now there’s no evidence of
that and I’m scared. I’m scared for
your sake, I’m afraid that you
won’t change and your habits,
already so entrenched, will doom
you to a life of subservience,
dependence, mindlessness,
constant distractedness,
fractured, toxic relationships,
early and unplanned parenthood,
substance abuse, poverty of all kinds.
I am no fortune teller but
I see it as if in a crystal ball.
I would like a spell or a trick
that would win you over, but
right now, this is all I’ve got.
It may not be enough.

Published by michaeljarmer

I'm a public high school English teacher, fiction writer, poet, and musician in Portland, Oregon

2 thoughts on “#154: A Dialogue?

  1. OH MY GOD. The words are bells ringing with truth. You pretty much nailed the adolescent apathy right there. I was a nerd before being a nerd was cool, and took a lot of crap from the “cool” kids for working so hard and being a teacher’s pet. The relationships I had with my teachers were WAY more satisfying and healthy than anything the cool kids could’ve ever given me. And I thank my lucky stars every single day that I had such intelligent and gifted people leading me into the uncharted territories of my mind. All of this to say, I am sure that there are some kids who really really appreciate you and will continue to appreciate you for the rest of their lives. And I’m saying this because teaching is such a hard job that it’s easy to get embroiled in the crap and lose sight of or minimize the things we do well. It’s clear you care a lot. Bravo, my friend, for being a great teacher.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: