Sunday, October 21, 2012

Conversations with Students: a series

Me: Check this out, I have four fat markers in my pocket! Do I look like a tagger?
Student: Nah, you gotta sag.

Student: Ms. Barton, you've accomplished so much and you're so young! You're so successful!
Me: Thank you, that is so sweet of you to say. I don't feel very successful, though, at least not usually.
Student: Well, I think you could probably have chosen a better career...
Me: And that's why. Because people say that to me all the time.

Me: J---, you're inferring that Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones is black because she speaks African American Vernacular English.
Student: I still don't believe that's a real thing. [pause] Ms. Barton, you must have a lot of black friends.
Me: Well, I do have some black friends, J-----, but I wouldn't say I have a lot. I study African American literature and culture. That's what my dissertation is about. That's why I know about AAVE.
Student: You must really love black people.
Me: Well, I love all people, but I do love black culture. That's why I've studied it for so long.
Student: Ooohhhhh, so that's why you got this stuff here [pointing to my posters of MLK and James Baldwin]
Me: Right.

Me: I want to tell you something. You're not in trouble. Your pants are too tight. If you wear tights, you need to have something on that covers you down to your knees. Otherwise Ms. Lisa will put sweatpants on you.
Student: Really?
Student: Ms. Barton, I have some other pants in my backpack. Should I go change now?
Me: It can wait until lunch.