Monday, November 19, 2007

Who dropped a sucker?

The class was finally inside the door a mere five seconds past the bell. This pleased me. I went to close the tall wooden door but was met with resistance and a distinct 'crunch' sound. I glanced at the door, but didn't notice anything immediately so I tried again. Same resistance, same crunch. Upon further inspection I see green shards of hard candy on the floor below the hinges of the door. We've had issues with kids bringing hard candy into the school and then throwing them at each other during passing periods.

The kids inside my room noticed my efforts to clear the trapped candy and return to my class. "Señora, what happened?"

"Someone dropped a sucker in the hallway." I replied, finally able to close the door and move on with my day. Ready until, that is, JR jumped up, mouth open and smiling. He started throwing punches in the air and yelled "Who was it Miss? Who was it? Who got it?"

"I have no idea JR. Sit down." Why in the world was this kid so worked up? He was still throwing punches in the air and smiling wildly.

"Who got dropped?!?!?!" JR would not calm down.

"What? Someone dropped a was stuck in the door." What the heck is wrong with this kid? I've heard that tween-age boys have hearing deficits, but this is ridiculous.

Then it dawned on me. I didn't have a deaf student. I had a self-imposed language barrier which had nothing to do with mi clase de español. You see, in the midwest and south, where I spent my youth, a "sucker" is a piece of candy on a stick, also known as a lollipop. "To drop" something meant that it fell out of one's hands. Not in the Bronx. In the Bronx a "sucker" is a gullible person and "to drop" someone is to knock them out. Young JR assumed that there was a fight and I was simply closing the door on a passed out loser in the hallway.

Who dropped a sucker? Neither JR nor I will ever know.

No comments: