Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Say Something Else

During summer school, you get students you normally would not have.
This can be good or bad, depending; the diaper you know to the diaper you don't know kind of thing.
One fellow I have this summer, let us call him Jeffrey, might prove to be very interesting. He is one of those special education students that have no visual 'tell' to them; if you passed Jeffrey on the street, you would just see a twenty-something guy in business casual wear sporting a giant picture identification dangling around his neck.
However, I would like to call your attention to some of the exchanges I had with Jeffrey today.

Jeffrey turns on the radio.
I ask him what kind of music he likes.
"Have you heard of rap music?" he skillfully parries my question with one of his own.
Jeffrey tunes in some static and begins to bob his head, then switches the dial again, settling on Journey.
"Oh this is what I was looking for."

As we walk into the baby section of the thrift store, I hear Jeffrey remark in quiet wonder: "It's like a dream room". Then quickly he shushed himself, let out a small giggle, and said "I shouldn't have said that."

I asked Jeffrey to hold a basket of groceries and he confidently replied, "I can handle anything you give me because I have a girlfriend now. Well, I did."
"What was her name?"
"I don't know what it was right now. But she used to be my girlfriend all the time. Or she will be."
I wondered to myself if Jeffrey might be outside of time in some very small way.

During the afternoon downtime, Jeffrey asked if he could look at an Oprah magazine. He ponders a page of advertisements and says to no one in particular, "I wonder what they're laughing at so wildly."

As the day nears its end, Jeffrey gets the attention of one of the staff: "I can't stop thinking of something...can I do artists later?" It turns out that this meant he wanted to color a page from our Princess and the Frog giant-sized  coloring book.

I have a good feeling about Jeffrey.


  1. Why is there no comment here? This is great! I'm reading up on some past posts, and I have a good feeling about Jeffrey too. This could be a good summer.

  2. jeffrey's pretty awesome. i've read a few of your entries in no particular order, but i'm about to start from the beginning.

    i have a good feeling about jeffrey, too :)

  3. The oldest developmentally disabled student I have worked with was 9, so I find this not only really amusing, but also fascinating. Most of my students have autism and are severe on the spectrum, therefore non-verbal, so I find Jeffrey's conversation awesome.