car service!

today steven came up to me and asked me if i've heard the news.
"news? what news?" i ask.
"you know, the student. he killed."
"oh yeah, the shootings. yes, i heard about that."
"shootings?"
"yes, the guy who killed people."
"yeah. but he was from korea. from asia."
"yes, he was korean."
"do you know why he did?" steven asks me.
"no," i admit.
"i know," steven says.
"oh," i say. why?"
"because there was a girl. his girlfriend. he kill her first."
"oh yeah, i think i heard something. his ex-girlfriend, right?"
"yeah. girlfriend."

steven is smiling during this whole conversation, maybe because of the language barrier that exists between us, or maybe because he finds mass murder hilarious. i'm not sure. i just know the latter isn't completely out of line because at one point, he says, "it's funny." i try to discourage this:

"no. there has to be something wrong with you to do something like that."
"something wrong?" he asks.
"yeah, he had problems in the head." i point to my head to drive the point home.
"problems?"
"yeah, you know," and i circle my finger around my temple.
"oh, crazy. yes, crazy," he says, laughing.

i don't really know how to end a conversation like this, especially to a student who speaks chinese, barely knows english. luckily, ms. joy tells him he needs to complete his essay. i walk away and help the newest student, marcela, who has come to watsonville with her entire family from oaxaca.

in mr. cramer's class somehow putin's name came up, and eli, the only white kid in the class, asked what his first name was. cramer couldn't remember. "vladimir," i offer, my only contribution to the entire period. on wednesday, cramer wants me to teach the class about emily dickinson, who i didn't even really understand in college. i have to admit i did like that she was a recluse, and on the few occasions that she talked, she supposedly spoke with a high-shrilled voice. and all her poetry was published posthumously, of course. always a plus. my kind of girl.


1 comment:

ms.meggie said...

mass murder isn't hilarious?