Tuesday, August 05, 2008

A funny story...

I've been reading the book The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch, who recently passed away from pancreatic cancer. I read a little bit each night. The chapters are short and usually have a little lesson. Last night he made mention of Adonis. You may recall from Greek mythology that Adonis is a love interest of Aphrodite who is killed while hunting. Adonis was said to be very handsome.

Pausch's mention of Adonis reminded me of my first year teaching third grade. I have a motley crew of a class. One boy who was my height but definitely a young third grader. Several boys who spent a large portion of the day falling of their chairs. And not to be naughty. They were just that way. A couple nerdy, sweet, smart kids. And several named after their parents' favorite liquor. They were a bunch. It was not uncommon to start the year off with a group of children and end the year with more or less than I began with. Sometime during that year I got a new little boy whose name was Adonis. While he was a cute little boy he was very small and very thin. He always wore his little uniform pants tightly belted at his waist. His polo shirt tucked in and long sleeves even in the heat of May and June. He also had a tendency to whine, and cry, and tattle. And fart. Now don't get me wrong, I know in third grade kids do this. And they think it's funny. But little Adonis's farting was not funny. It cleared the room. Literally. It was as though by naming him Adonis his mother has cursed him to be the opposite of what one would consider an Adonis to be! While I tried hard to fight for equality for this little boy in the classroom, a teacher cannot make children like another child. And he made it difficult on himself everyday with his whining and crying about any little thing and of course the farting didn't help! He would visit with the school social worker who would try to help him develop some skills for the classroom and the playground but most of the time the kids who met with her just ended up playing games in her office.

As was often the case with new kids, Adonis was not back the nest year, so I've no idea what happened to him or how he turned out. I hope he grew to fit his name, if only a little, so he could survive the harshness of the real world. But the thing that sprang back to my mind when I read "Adonis" in the book was the farting! I hope he out grew that! But knowing boys, he probably grew to use it to his advantage!

9 comments:

:: gingerkitty :: said...

this is a great parallel.. thanks for sharing!

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A Wonderful World said...

I guess you never know how someone will turn out. Great inspiration!

Linda said...

Hopefully he is doing well where ever he may be. I left you something on my blog. Have a great day!

Sarah C. said...

Poor little fellow. I hope he grew into his name.

Lily said...

What a wonderful entry. Why, oh why do parents do that to their children? i enjoyed reading your descriptions. I'd love to hear how my daughters third grade teacher describes her next year!

Creative Junkie said...

awwwww - I wonder what happened to him? With two girls, I luckily do not have a farting issue in this house. I do, however, have a seven year old that thinks it's the coolest thing to burp on cue. I'm hoping it's a phase.

Janet said...

Great story! I can tell you were a very caring teacher. :-)

KarenSue said...

I'm reading that book! it is fantastic.

Sad story about Adonis,
hope he is doing well. I have a co-worker very much like him.
Genius level intellegence, no social skills. (even the ability to fart on command) But when you get to know him, what he has to say is brilliant!

Noelia said...

Poor little Adonis. I feel for kids that have such strong names to live up to such as "Hercules" etc....