- Jane Wheeler
It's Semester Change
I have gotten to love my job in the library, I look forward to seeing “my kids” every day and talking with them. Oh there are still challenges but most days are pretty great.
I have this group of 7-8 kids who come on their spare and have gelled together into a really fun group. I relish sitting there listening to them talk and laugh, sometimes they play a game and other times they study together.
My “what’s your chew” fellows have not been so regular but they were there last week and true to form they entertained me with their stories. The one fellow was obviously on a role to creep the girls out as he, in true redneck fashion, was discussing what kinds of animals he has “eaten”; apparently everything from bears to possums, even snakes. Like when he was 4 he got lost in the forest for 3 days and had to eat snake meat, he roasted it over the fire. (I did not say any of this was true!) He told the girls that pet stores are really just a butcher shop in disguise, which did bring the disgust that he was looking for. When questioned if he ever had a “pet” he told us about his pet toad – it got really big – holding his hands about a foot apart. His name was of course “toad” and it died because he kept forgetting to feed and water it.
My inside voice was questioning how “toady” got so big if he was that fat – but then I realized there probably never really was a “toad” pet – after all this boy was on a role.
Oh my – the stories!
Then there are the true and heart breaking stories.
One gal asked me what you say to your friend when she loses a baby.
What do you say to the young fellow who confides that he has no friends even when he seems surrounded by others.
Or to the young girl who you have never have seen talking to anyone else – she seems to have not one friend in the school and she sits alone lunch hour after lunch hour with a book hoping no one sees her or else wishes someone does!
Then there is the girl who tells you she has to do all the cooking and cleaning and watch her brother because her mom is not well and if her dad does not like supper he yells and gets mad – really mad.
Even though I did not want go back to work at the beginning of the year, my husband now teases me that I will miss these kids terribly when my contract is over (I am only covering a mat leave position til June). I am beginning to think he is correct.
But right now, this past and next couple weeks – it has all changed – we are at exam time and schedules are up in the air and the kids are all stressed with exams and finishing up classes. I watched one fellow who finally applied himself get his marks from a 42% to 84% in one week – because he decided to finish some assignments. He has been hanging around the library trying to get to know a certain young lady putting his attention onto other matters.
Semester 2 starts February 1st – the whole dynamics of the library will be changed again, my regulars will be in different classes, no more spares. But with it will bring a new “group” of kids to the library – a part of me is excited to see who and a part of me roles my eyes with oh boy – here we go again!