We had three new students start this week.
All three are young, African-American, and high functioning, meaning that they walk into our classroom, smell the smells, see the sights, and wonder how their life choices could have possibly lead them to this unsanitary educational precipice.
One of them needs a little assistance in the bathroom.
I am not used to talking to kids who have a high enough functioning level where they are aware of and/or embarrassed of their predicament.
I am not really that used to talking all together.
In my defense.
So he has a catheter he runs through a hole in his belly, and I was just standing there watching, so of course I felt compelled to fill the silence with stupid pratter.
Me: So does that hurt?
Me:Does it feel like someone poking you in the belly with their finger or something?
Me: What does it feel like?
Curtis: It feels like a little plastic tube going into my stomach.
Me: Oh. (turning red)
.....long silence (trickle of pee)....
Curtis recently had his foot amputated.
Again, in my defense, I have never been around an amputee before. I don't know what is considered safe or off-limits for amputee discussion, and his awareness and brightness of mind have thrown me out of my Special Ed Whisperer groove.
I decided to directly address the bandaged up elephant in the room.
Me: So did you see that guy in the Olympics who ran with no feet?
Curtis looked down.
Curtis: No, I didn't want to watch it cause I'd just had my surgery. I was kinda depressed....
I put my hands on his bandaged stump because I was trying to pretend I was totally cool and comfortable with everything.
It felt kind of like I imagined Winter's tailess backend would feel; muscular, thick, but with no functional conclusion.
Can you even say 'stump' in this day and age??
Me: Does it hurt?
Me: Have you ever heard of phantom limb?
He looked at me blankly.
Me: do you ever forget that its gone?
Curtis: Sometimes I feel like my foot still be there, and I go to stand on it and fall over....
.....long silence......I decided not to ask if he ever feels like his foot is itching or if someone goes 'tickle tickle' in the air right where it would be tickly if indeed he felt like he was being tickled.
By this time I am really shifting around and uncomfortable.
I hate having social awkwardness with the students.
If I can't act completely foolish or sit there in stony silence, count me out from having to interact with the human race.
Me: So, why...uh.. why do you have the catheter anyways?
Curtis: That's how I, you know, go to the bathroom. For the other stuff I do that at home. With an enema.
At this point I should have just shut up, but
Me: So is it because you don't have any feeling in your penis, like feeling when you have to go pee?
Curtis: I guess so.
Me: Do you have a penis?
This question was not entirely without merit, since I have had students who did not have a penis in the traditional sense. More like a flap, or second belly button.
He gave me a strange look..
Curtis: Yeah, I have a penis.
After awhile, he sighed.
Curtis: I'm done now.
I helped him up and hurried out of the bathroom.
Anyways, thought I would share that in absence of any real post.
I have one that I am working on, but the current rate of drawing is about one picture an hour, so in 2014 sometime, prepare to be blown away by my brilliant creation.
Today at the shoe store I saw a middle age lady stumble on something and then try to pass it off like she was just dancing to the Famous Footwear music.
Then she picked up a shoe, pressed her face right into it, and said aloud, "This is a good shoe."
It was neat.