What's the weirdest thing a kid has ever said to you?
I ask because on Friday, I had a student say something to me that I sincerely hope will be the weirdest thing any kid ever says. Anything much odder and my head will explode.
I have this kid. Actually, I don't - he's not mine, he's on the other core, he just comes to my room after school periodically because I have most of his friends. Anyway, a couple of days a week he usually stays after to "help" me with classroom chores. (He's part of Space Cadet's little helper core.) He's a little more consistent than the others, and a little less emotionally stable, as well as fairly....well, geeky for lack of a better word (he's super into role playing games, particularly Magic the Gathering, and fantasy books, he doesn't care about his clothes, he's not athletic).
Card Player and another student seem to have a rivalry for Space Cadet's friendship; I think if it weren't for Space Cadet, they wouldn't be friends at all. On Friday, Space Cadet was hanging out with the rival, so Card Player offered to stay and keep helping me. We were in the early hours of a big storm, so I wasn't convinced he should. "Are you sure, Card Player? It's getting pretty bad outside - I don't want you to have to walk home in the snow and dark."
"Yeah, I'll be okay. I can probably make it fine."
"Okay then, if you're sure." We kept sorting my classroom library.
After a bit, Card Player cleared his throat. "Ms. Teachin', are you married?"
"Oh." Silence for a moment. "It's good I didn't ask you what I was going to ask you then."
Okay, honestly, my first thought was that he was going to ask me for a ride home. In retrospect, considering the actual words, perhaps that was somewhat short-sighted, but at the time, I was thinking about the weather. I figured if he asked, I could explain about the legality issues and what if I got in an accident and blah blah blah. "You can ask me."
"Uh...well...." He paused. Odd, but I kept sorting books. A minute later. "What I was going to ask you was....what I wanted to ask you was....what I was going to ask you was...."
And that's when I started to think maybe we were going somewhere else other than a ride home. Was he going to ask me what it's like to kiss someone? Was he going to ask me to go out with him? Oh god. "You know, you don't HAVE to ask me."
I'm not sure he even heard me.
He stammered his way through six or seven iterations of that phrase, getting redder and redder, until he finally finished. "What I was going to ask you was.....can I feel your boobs?"
How the FUCK do you answer something like that? WHAT do you say?
Somehow I stayed very calm and in control - externally at least. What I said: "No, you can't. And that was an incredibly inappropriate thing to say, to me or to anyone. I'm a teacher, and that would be both illegal and immoral, and I'm really uncomfortable with this conversation now."
"Okay, I'm sorry," he said miserably. "It's just my friends keep bothering me to ask you and I wanted them to stop ---"
HIS FRIENDS??????? FUUUUUUUUUCK.
"Okay, well, anyway, I'm going to need you to leave now, so have a great weekend and thanks for the help." Card Player slunk out and I double-timed it down to the office to report it to my principal (who was completely shocked, and then laughed and laughed).
It's still being dealt with - a behavior specialist and a variety of other school personnel are involved in trying to figure out the situation: why he said it (because the friends thing is just weird), is he likely to say anything similar to a student, appropriate consequences, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
And the story has spread, because how do you not tell a story like that? I don't really blame anyone who's passed it on. Responses have been a mix of horror, shock, and amusement, pretty much in equal parts. Pretty much mirroring my own reaction.
My favorite response, though, was from my husband. "Can't fault him for his taste," he said. Which I suppose is a good way to look at it. But please tell me I won't get much weirder than this?
(Image from CarbonNYC)