Monday, November 23, 2009

The WELDER and the BABY

Good evening.. It's time for another stunning story from my classroom! This one's again about the boy I'm calling Brian... (see A Tater's Tale).

If I need anything done, I call on Brian. If, in the future, I have the opportunity to choose a place of business that employs Brian, I will go there. He is a great worker and a really nice guy... However, Vocabulary? Not his "thaing." Up until a couple of weeks ago, Brian was dancing on the sixty percent line in my class.. He'd slip below it, and then he'd work just enough to pass.
Then, miracle of miracles, his welding teacher told him he needed to learn how to write resumes and business letters for job placement. Then, Brian sat up and paid attention. "Mr. Cheever tells us we have to write letters with inside addresses." Um... we've been doing that all year... "Mr. Cheever wants his resume done, and it has to be 'right!'" To which I replied, "Well, I was kind of hoping mine would be right, as well." Brian happily insisted it was different with "Mr. Cheever" because.... and he kinda trailed off... I mentally finished the sentence. I knew without a shadow of a doubt it was because Brian deemed Mr. Cheever to have a lick of sense...
So, with that new-found enthusiasm, Brian has been working on a Career Portfolio for me. I gave the students templates and sample letters, and I told them to plug in their own information and make the letters their own. Brian brought in two today... ready for typing, which he doesn't do... I will usually type for a kid who's never had keyboarding, but I always say if they make a mistake, I make the same one on the final copy... These letters were stellar. He nailed the inside addresses, the return addresses.. He politely requested the opportunity to tour and apply to the Midwest Welding Institute... The letters rolled on about the strength of his resumes, the quality of education reknowned in the school, how much Brian wished to be a part of the fine body of elite who enriched the community... and so on... I thought, "He did a fine job of melding in his WELDING with whatever the sample letter-writer had as its goal."
Then I got to the final two lines: Brian penned, "I was especially impressed with the special tour of the obstetrics unit, and I am sure that I will be a valuable part of your neonatal program of study." .... Um... Brian? I called him up to the front to clarify... He beamed when I asked him what obstetrics and neo-natal meant... "I don't really know. I just added in the big words to impress ya!" Can you spell classroom rolling on the floor laughing? Brian is very good natured, so he laughed too when I told him, "Brian--- obstetrics: little bitty babies. Neonatal: little bittier babies." .... He kinda turned red and mumbled that he was really trying to impress me... I am keeping that letter to look at when the going gets tough.... He meant well!!!