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Rebel Yell: Give Todd A Holler

October 7

Thomas had inherited his father’s reason without his ruthlessness and his mother’s love of good without her tendency to pursue it.  His plan for all practical action was to wait and see what developed.

—“The Comforts of Home,” by Flannery O’Connor


Dear Dixie,

Parent-teacher-student conferences are tomorrow and Friday.  There’s a vibe in the air, no doubt about it.  You can feel it and if you could see the vibe it would look like fog.

In my classes today I went around and asked each of them what they'd like for me to say to their parents.  As a group they were stunned that I’d offer up even more power in the same week.  They’re still pretty wobbly about the recent freebie toilet offering. 

What would you like me to say to your parents about you?  That’s a classic calling of their bluffs.  I was really trying to be funny … I’ve got to state the facts, facts, facts tomorrow and Friday … praise and concerns, I said … but they were so stunned that no one came up with anything for a long time. 

Dexter, smiling as if he had just been tossed the plucked chicken, finally said for me to tell his parents that he’s still sleeping in class a lot!

He has.  For the last month.  I finally poured cold water down the back of his neck this week while he was dreaming about algebra.  He took it like a man.  He really did, waking up with everybody laughing and pointing at him.  He said he was sorry.  But his in-class comas are getting old and distracting to his mates who want to give Georgia history a try.  All of your other teachers are tired of it, too.  So I told Dexter, with a wink, that your parents already know.  Believe me.  Your parents know.

Dexter giggled for a while … but it was a nervous giggle that morphed into an expression of wide-awake silent horror.  The kind of expression that convinced me of something: that when Dexter gets home this afternoon he knows he’s got a whole lot of pre-conference campaigning to do.



Next Entry ... October 13: That Thing You Do.  Or Not