Mr. C: What are you guys doing this summer?
K: I need to get a job.
B: I wanna work at the YMCA.
Mr. C: What do you want to do there?
B: Be a lifeguard, but I can’t swim.
Mr. C: Well you’re going to have to learn how to swim if you want to be a lifeguard.
T: You can’t swim!?
S: I got threw in the pool.
K: Yeah that’s how I learnt to swim too.
T: I fell off the diving board and I almost drownt. I swimmed and gave up halfway.
K I got in my first fight in the pool. Some nigga threw me in the 10 foot, and I was like Ahh!
Mr. C: So you had to learn for survival?
K: Yeah! About halfway down I started moving my arms and that was a wrap.
Mr. C: Well that’s one way to learn.
I reached a breaking point with the lack of respect from my 8th graders:
M: Give me my pencil so I can do my work.
Mr. C: Excuse me? I just sharpened this pencil for you and you say give it to me?
All of you need to learn some respect.
You talk to me like I’m not a teacher or something.
I am, and you don’t talk to me like that.
D: I ain’t never cursed you.
L: I respect you.
(Both students give me handshakes.)
M: I don’t even respect my daddy.
Mr. C: Well you’re going to respect me.