“okay.”

there’s a young man. brilliant young man, age sixteen.

a product of the what happens when Detroit Public Schools is met with a lack of parenting, a heavy influence of peers with a lack of parenting, and the disenchantment that occurs when seeing people that look like you become more familiar with the inside of a jail cell than the inside of a classroom.

his attitude is horrible. his mouth is foul. his disposition is that of one with deep self-esteem issues. yesterday, i had a conversation with one of his tutors/mentors. “can’t save them all. i’m throwing in the towel with this one.” he said.

i remembered last week, when i asked the young man, after reading one of his writings, why he was so angry at everyone. why he chose to use the language he does. his response was “i just do. what does it matter to you?” i told him in the same nonchalant tone he’d answered, “it just does.” i told him to write one page of every thought he has during the day, because we are what we think. i also told him to try to write at least three things that he likes about himself.

yesterday, after speaking to his mentor, i sent him a quick text asking if he was doing as i asked. “naw.” was his response.

“okay,” i responded

“ok?” he said.

“yep, okay.” i said.

five hours later, i received a text. “yo, i’m not stupid. i can follow directions. i did the page. ima good writer. that’s one thing. u happy now?”

“yep. :)” i said.

“gay.”  was his response. lol

that night, his tutor called raving about what he wrote, saying how he was going to approach the lesson the next time he sees him, and asked what i said to get the young man to not quit the program like he’d said he was doing when he walked out the day before. i told him, sometimes you just have to say okay. lol.

i have a hopeless inability to throw in the towel with anyone or anything. usually, this proves to be a big personality flaw. but i am learning that sometimes in order to push, you have to pull back. baby steps, baby steps. lol.

14 comments

  1. It is amazing, what you do.
    Please keep it up and God bless you.
    Does your profile say you are selfish; nay, i don’t think so. The selfless part of it covers this, right? :)

    1. lol. thank you. :)

      i am trying to tip the scale more on the selfless side of life daily. lol. doesn’t always work though. hahaha. God bless YOU!

    1. i have! i’m in school currently though, and although i love the kiddies, my goal is to go back to Spelman (where i attended for some time) and teach. yay.

  2. I agree. This made me chuckle out loud. What you do is indeed great. I laughed at the “okay” part. Haha, but Tunde is right. All they need is a little encouragement. Keep it up :)

  3. What little you’ve mentioned about this kid reminds me so much of my little brother who has more issues than can be listed. Unfortunately, I don’t have that same inability to throw in the towel and have done so with at least one of my sisters. Every time I feel myself getting to that point with my little brother, I shall return to this page and feel inspired to try to inspire him.

    1. aw. yeah don’t give up on little brother. mine was wilding at one point as well, but fortunately we were able to remind him that he is much too smart to pretend he’s not. lol

  4. Keep the good work up N try invent as many words coz at a point “OKaY” might not work :)..Okay drives people nuts at times coz U can`t tell if the okAY has a smile or frown with it….

  5. I love this so much, I’ll be sharing it with some teachers I know; special education teachers. You were truly a blessing to the student and the mentor. Spelman students await your gift. Ok.

    SLC

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