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Entry date: 6-7-2023 – Wicked Wednesday – Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,

In honor of Taco Tuesday, which I celebrated last night with Michael and Tracey, I am proposing that we should start calling Wednesday by the name “Wicked Wednesday” and everyone should have to speak with a Boston accent. Wouldn’t that be fun?

I could try it today with my students, but they would think I have lost my mind.

I wonder if my students ever think that I am nuts. I wonder that a lot, actually. They certainly look at me like they do sometimes. Yesterday we were in class and I was talking to them about how some words can be used in a lot of different ways (we were talking about the word “friend”) and I think one of my kids had a moment where she thought I was insane.

As I have written about here, I used to teach kids about relationships, and I was talking to my fourth graders (some of which will be fifth grades in a few months and others who will be officially starting fourth grade in August) about what makes a good friend. I shared a few things about respect and communication, and I asked them, “Can you be friends with someone you don’t trust?”

This question always gets a lot of interesting answers, but these kids were on it. They all agreed that you cannot. This made my day, but the moment where I think one of them thought I was crazy was when I asked, “Can you like someone that you don’t trust?” Her eyes got really big and she gave me that, “Whatchoo talkin’ about, Willis?” look.

If you are too young to remember Gary Coleman in Diff’rent Strokes, then I apologize. It was a look of pure incredulity. So, I asked the question again as I looked back at her. Her eyes got even wider.

“How could you like someone you don’t trust?” she asked.

It made me very happy to see her thinking this logically. If she sticks to her guns, people will not get very far in her life when they try to mess with her. She will be okay and she’ll maybe someday have kids who will take after her and be okay, too. Abusive people won’t want to be around them.

We had a good discussion, though, about how you can certainly like someone that you don’t trust, just as long as you are careful with what you leave exposed to them. I’ve had a lot of “friends” over the years that I liked a lot but would not loan money to or let them drive my car. You just can’t trust certain people that way.

There are people I would loan a movie or a CD or album to and lots that I wouldn’t. It doesn’t mean I don’t like them; it just means that they have proven themselves to be untrustworthy with valuable (or even slightly valuable) objects. The kids seemed to grasp this, but that one little lady still seemed super skeptical.

I let it go and we got on with our 75 minutes of instruction time. Boy those kids are really digging Charlotte’s Web. I certainly enjoy reading it to them and the few that have volunteered to take a paragraph here and there have been doing really well, too. It’s such a wonderful book.

We are about half way through and it is starting to come back to me a little bit, but it still feels like a new story to me. I was probably in fourth grade or so when I read it. That was a long fucking time ago in what seems like a galaxy far, far away.

I wonder what Miss Timlin is up to these days? She would probably be in her mid-60s now.

See you tomorrow.

I used to make silly art on the computer when I was bored.

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