Rummaging Through Z’s Things

I looked through Z’s things on Saturday. You know the things. The huge binders from the last day of school. He brought them home, along with a grocery bag full of papers, and threw them in his closet. Since I was looking for a poetry project the teacher said he bombed on, I had to look through these papers. I found all kinds of stuff I’d never seen before: Stanford 10 test scores, rubrics, cartoons he’d drawn….

This all taught me a valuable lesson. No matter how structured you try to be with helping kids with homework and projects, you just can’t see everything. I never did find that project or the rubric. Since I went ballistic about the poetry project for about a week, the test scores gave me an opportunity to say something nice.

K: I saw your test scores; I’m impressed.

Z: Oh, I thought I showed those to you.

K: No, I had to rummage through your things to see them.

Z: Yeah, we had a debate about who had the most post high school ratings.

K: Really?

Z: Yeah, me and the boys I hang around with.(And I thought they didn't care about grades or test scores.)

K: I saw your science project score. You did OK. They said you should have found more rocks from different locales.

Z: I thought I did, actually.

K: Oh, yeah, you did. (Friends and relatives sent him rocks from places like NC, GA, and OH.)

Z: That was a lame project anyway. I can’t believe I turned that in. I liked the urinal I created a few years ago. (He cracks up laughing.)

K: I did not like the urinal. (The urinal was Z’s idea that was supposed to help drivers--males only--drive longer because they wouldn’t have to take bathroom breaks; they could just use his urinal. It's in his closet, but I hope he doesn't decide to test it. He's threatened to do that.)