Thursday, December 13, 2012

Awkward Conversations at School, Part 1

(because you know there will be more)

I love when I have experiences that are totally off the wall at work and give me gleeful bouts of laughter when I reflect on them. Yesterday, I got called down to have a conference with a student and the substitute principal, Mr. G. The student, who has never been a behavior problem and who I've never even seen before, was poking kids with a paper clip and pulled a chair out from under another student. Dangerous behaviors, and uncharacteristic, so we tried to figure out what was up. The student was tight-lipped, noncompliant, and full of crocodile tears, so it didn't go anywhere. The fun part came after the conference, when Mr. G said that he had a story to tell me. It went a little something like this (somewhat abbreviated for clarity and amusement):

Mr. G: "When I was the principal at XX Elementary, one of my kindergarten teachers brought a student into my office because the girl had punched the teacher in the stomach. I kept the girl in my office with me, talked to her, and sent her back to class after a half an hour. Not fifteen minutes later, the teacher was back because the girl had punched her again. Well, I knew this couldn't continue, so I had to suspend her. A kindergartener! When we were at the hearing for her suspension, I noticed she was acting strangely. Her eyes were looking up at the ceiling as she slouched and slid up and down in her chair. Now, I was a music teacher before I was a principal, and this girl was speaking in a voice that no child of her age and gender could naturally make. She kept groaning, 'I hate you, Miss Ray... I hate you, Miss Ray.' .... Now, I have to ask you... as a psychologist, do you believe in possession?"

Me: 0_o "Um."

Mr. G: "No, really. Do you believe in possession, do you have that faith? Because there's something wrong with that girl." [the one we had just conferenced with, who had thankfully left the room]

Ah... awkward, inappropriate conversations in the workplace. Needless to say, I booked it out of there before he started explaining any other uncomfortable and outlandish viewpoints that his music teacher expertise may have given him about behavior and mental health.

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