Two boys (6th grade) were caught hanging out in the library stairwell and the end of 1st period today. One of these boys is one of my student librarians. The other is here two or three times a day. They were ditching PE. Well, sort of. They had gone to PE and then sneaked out at the very end, after everyone had changed back into their normal clothes and was waiting to be dismissed. That meant that they were probably only in the stairwell for 10 minutes or so....but still.
So, I interrogated them. First C arrived (having been sent by his science teacher - you see, I only found out about this after the fact; I didn't actually catch them). He explained to me the details of the situation and then said that he hated PE at the end of the period because the teachers were still supervising the locker rooms (so nothing bad can happen) and the students are left to their own devices out on the field (good plan). C says that he gets pushed, hit, and called names by the other kids. I believe it. He is not your average boy. C shed a few tears and I told him that I didn't want anyone to be mean to him, but that he couldn't just sneak out of class when he felt like it. I explained all the reasons about safety that I thought were so bogus when I was a kid, but now I totally understand.
Then D arrived. I assumed that his reasons for sneaking away would be the same as C's. D is a sleepy-eyed kid who dances to the beat of his own drum. When I asked why he had done it, he told me it was because he wanted to be the first in the library at Nutrition. He wanted as much time here as possible to read and look at Where's Waldo and Ripley's Believe It Or Not books. I was flattered....but still.
So I took the poor boys (one sniffly, one unphased) to the deans' office. I asked them to sit and wait while I explained the situation. When I told the dean that D just wanted to get to the library as fast as he could, she said, "Wow, you really get the big nerds up there, don't you?" I laughed, because it was funny, but I was a little ruffled by it too. Yes, I get the big nerds. The huge nerds, the total nerds, the major geeks, the complete losers. It's true. It's safe here, and it's also awesome. What most people don't know is that I also get the drama kids, the soccer players, the rockers, the Emo's, the giggly girls, the mean kids, the skaters, the gamers, the golden girls and boys, the misfits, the outcasts, the teachers' pets, the teachers' worst nightmares, the braniacs, the freaks, the jocks, the rebels, and the princesses.
The point is, I get it all. The library is an equal opportunity space. I will admit that a certain population dominates up here, but I think that's cool. A nerd-dominated space is somewhere that I, personally, don't mind spending time. Especially since these nerds like to READ.
I am sorry that C is having a hard time. I like him a lot and I wish kids would just leave him alone. D, though, really made my day. To ditch a class to come to the library, well, that makes me feel good. Kids do it all the time, but they are really just trying not to be in class by faking passes to the library. It's not that they want to be in the library, but that they don't want to be somewhere else. D's intentions were truer. It was here that he wanted to be over any other place in school, so much so that he broke a rule and got sent to the dean.
Talk about a warm fuzzy.